A man police say allegedly pointed an unloaded handgun in a vehicle carrying his coworkers is facing several charges, according to local law enforcement. Police were called on Nov. 23 when drivers allegedly saw a man pointing a gun out of a vehicle on Interstate 74 in eastern Illinois. The man faces more than one felony charge for unlawful use of a weapon.

According to reports, around 4 p.m. Other motorists reported a man in a truck was pointing a handgun out the window in the direction of another vehicle. Police arrested the man a short time later, where the man admitted to pointing the gun but called it a “joke.” A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a loaded clip for the gun and a set of brass knuckles, for which the man is also facing a misdemeanor charge.

The man faces two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, a felony in Illinois. The former NFL player has a short existing criminal record, having pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in 2004, but he has not been in trouble with the law since then. It is unclear if he is currently in police custody, but no trial date has yet been set to deal with this case.

While the “joke” the man tried to play on his co-workers probably constitutes a poor decision, it may be possible for the felony charge to be challenged, considering the weapon was unloaded at the time. It will also be valuable for the defense team to review any evidence Illinois prosecutors seek to bring forward in the case of each felony charge. A review of the arrest process to ensure the man’s rights were respected during his arrest may also be helpful.

Source: The Washington Times, Illinois football staff member charged, No author, Nov. 25, 2013