2 men at Naperville Topgolf found with loaded guns: prosecutors

2 men at Naperville Topgolf found with loaded guns: prosecutors

NAPERVILLE, Ill. - Two men who were allegedly found to be in possession of loaded guns at a Topgolf recreational facility in Naperville have been denied pre-trial release, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.

The men, who were arrested in separate incidents last week, were each charged with multiple felonies, including armed habitual criminal, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

"We’re a very welcoming county, people are welcome to come here, but not to commit crime," said DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin.

Since last September, there have been more than a dozen gun-related arrests at Naperville's Topgolf facility.

"It’s something that’s been going on for quite a while now," said Shaun Campbell, Topgolf customer.

At the family friendly and popular entertainment venue in Naperville, officials are working to tackle a troubling trend.

"Obviously, there is some attraction to this particular facility. Naperville police are being very proactive in their finding people with guns, people that don’t have a right to legally possess them," said Berlin.

On Friday evening, officers were patrolling the parking lot at Topgolf on Odyssey Court when they smelled marijuana coming from a vehicle. While watching the vehicle, they saw Dijon Lane, 34, enter the driver's seat, according to prosecutors.

When officers asked Lane to exit the vehicle, they allegedly saw a gun, later determined to be a loaded Taurus .40 caliber PT740 with eight rounds in the magazine, tucked inside an opening near the gas pedal, prosecutors said. Lane was then taken into custody without incident.

<div>[L-R] Dijon Lane, 34, and Tavell Jackson, 44.</div> <strong>(DuPage County States Attorney)</strong>
[L-R] Dijon Lane, 34, and Tavell Jackson, 44.
(DuPage County States Attorney)

Around 10:05 p.m. the next day, officers were again on routine patrol at Topgolf when they allegedly saw a handgun in the net pocket on the back of the vehicle's passenger seat, prosecutors said. It was later determined that the weapon was a Taurus 9mm Millennium G2 with 12 rounds in the magazine.

As officers watched the vehicle, they saw Tavell Jackson, 44, get into the rear passenger seat. Police used their squad cars to pin the vehicle and took Jackson into custody. While officers were arresting Jackson, they allegedly recovered 12.4 grams of crack cocaine in his jacket, according to prosecutors.

"As convicted felons, both of these men have forfeited their right to legally possess a firearm," Berlin said in a statement. "What I find particularly troubling are the allegations that both men brought a loaded firearm to a family friendly recreation facility. This type of behavior is inexcusable and will be fully prosecuted."

Lane, of Blue Island, appeared in court Saturday where he was charged with a felony count of armed habitual criminal and a felony count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. He was also charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawful possession of cannabis by a driver. He is scheduled to appear in court again on April 22 for arraignment.

Jackson, of Maywood, made his first court appearance on Sunday where he was charged with three felonies, including armed habitual criminal, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He is expected to appear in court again on April 29 for arraignment.

Berlin says the men are facing between six and 30 years in prison if convicted.

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres released the following statement to FOX 32 Chicago on Monday:

"Naperville is a fantastic community, and we want everyone to come here and enjoy what this great city has to offer. Our only caveat is that they do it lawfully. We take our responsibility to keep this city safe very seriously, and our officers are out there looking for violations of the law that put our citizens and visitors at risk. These proactive, firearms-related arrests are proof of that, and we have no intention of stopping that kind of proactive enforcement."

Topgolf customers tell us the increased patrols are a welcome sight.

"I actually feel more secure knowing that the Naperville police are doing patrols, and they are catching these people," said Campbell.

In a statement, a spokesperson with Topgolf shared the following with FOX 32 Chicago on Monday:

"The safety of our Players and Playmakers has always been and will continue to be our number one priority. The arrests that have occurred in our parking lot are unrelated to Topgolf, and no incidents related to these efforts have occurred within our venue. We remain grateful for the Naperville police department and their ongoing efforts to keep our community safe."