LOGAN SQUARE — Two months after fatally shooting 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez, police officer Evan Solano is being investigated for drawing his gun on a driver during a Logan Square road rage clash last week.
The incident, which happened 6:10 p.m. May 21 in the 2900 block of West Logan Boulevard, was caught on video by several bystanders. Police officials said the department is investigating. Sources confirmed the officer involved is Solano.
A series of videos from multiple witnesses show an escalating traffic dispute, with the driver of a white SUV getting out of his car and threatening Solano, who was sitting behind the wheel of his red Ford Mustang, a personal car.
The videos also show Solano, dressed in his police uniform, out of his car and confronting the SUV driver with his gun drawn.
The incident started with the SUV driver partially blocking the intersection of Logan Boulevard and Richmond Street as he tried to turn, said Camille Sanchez, one of several people who witnessed what happened.
Frustrated, Solano kept honking his horn, prompting the driver to get out to confront Solano, Sanchez said.
Within seconds, the two get into a shouting match, according to videos and witnesses. In one of the videos, the SUV driver can be seen standing outside Solano’s driver’s side window and shouting: “Take your f——- car and back the f— up! If you can’t do it, I’ll do it for you! I’m not in two lanes, I’m in one lane!”
The SUV driver threatens, “I’ll rip you out of the f—— car.”
Solano is seen out of his car with his gun drawn, prompting the driver of the white SUV to back away with his hands up, videos show.
The driver shouts, “Dude, I have no weapon. I did not touch you!”
Solano yells back, “You threatened me with that knife!”
The driver says, “No, I did not!”
Sanchez, who witnessed the incident, said the driver had a knife attached to his leg, but he did not remove it or reference it at any point during the argument.
“It was scary just because everything happened so fast — seeing someone pull out a gun and being so close to it,” Sanchez said.
In the videos, the driver yells at Solano, “I did not threaten you at all; you pulled a gun on me!”
After more back and forth between the two men, some bystanders can be heard urging Solano to put away his gun and leave. They say they are filming the confrontation.
Solano puts his gun into his holster on his right hip, turns to some of the witnesses and says, “Did you not catch him yelling at me the whole time?”
Solano appears to go back to his car and the video ends with both drivers still stopped at the intersection.
The Police Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs is investigating the incident, spokesman Tom Ahern confirmed. Ahern wouldn’t answer any further questions about the case, including whether the incident will affect Solano’s job status.
Solano was put on administrative duties for 30 days after he shot Alvarez. The department has extended that status, Ahern said, but did not say for how long.
Solano’s attorney, Tim Grace, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
The road rage incident comes about a month after the city released videos of Solano fatally shooting Alvarez in Portage Park March 31.
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Solano shot Alvarez during a foot chase just blocks from Alvarez’s Portage Park home in the 5200 block of West Eddy Street. Police officials have not said why officers were chasing Alvarez.
Body cam videos show Alvarez was carrying a gun, but he didn’t raise or point it during the chase. Solano fired at least five shots at Alvarez as he ran, hitting him in his back and left knee, autopsy records show.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating.
Alvarez’s relatives have pushed for answers and demanded Solano be prosecuted for murder. Todd Pugh, an attorney representing the Alvarez family, said the road rage videos “lend greater currency to the argument that he was not an in-control police officer” before or after he shot Alvarez.
“When stitching [these videos] together with the videos of shooting Anthony Alvarez, this is just an out-of-control individual that should not have been patrolling the streets and carrying a firearm,” Pugh said. “We know that COPA continues to investigate the killing of Anthony Alvarez, and I would hope that COPA would place this incident under consideration in their investigation into the Alvarez shooting.”
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