Felon charged with having weapon, fleeing police Monday in Hinsdale

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Hinsdale Police Chief Brian King announced Tuesday that bond has been set for a Chicago man accused of illegally possessing a fully loaded firearm and fleeing from police stemming from an incident early Monday.

James Ruffin, 27, of the 5500 block of W. Iowa St., has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, aggravated fleeing and eluding and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, all felony counts. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol.

On Monday at around 1:10 a.m., a Hinsdale police officer observed a vehicle stopped in the through lanes of traffic on westbound Ogden Avenue and pulled his vehicle behind the stopped vehicle. As the officer exited his patrol car and approached the vehicle, Ruffin allegedly exited his vehicle, observed the officer approaching him, re-entered his vehicle and drove away. He then crashed his car into a traffic light pole at Ogden and Madison Street and continued driving. A Westmont police officer later observed him and the Hinsdale officer arrived at the scene to place Ruffin under arrest.

A search of Ruffin’s vehicle revealed a fully loaded pistol with a 30-round clip. Ruffin’s blood-alcohol content was found to be .256, above the legal limit of .08.

“It is alleged that Mr. Ruffin, a convicted felon who was illegally in possession of a handgun with an extended magazine, was driving drunk and, when approached by police officers, showed a complete disregard for authority and put the motoring public at risk by fleeing from the police,” Berlin said. “I would like to thank the Hinsdale Police Department for their heads-up work on this case that not only removed an alleged drunk driver from the road, but also allegedly took an extremely dangerous weapon out of the hands of a convicted felon,” he added.

“This is the second time in less than a week a traffic stop has yielded a handgun with an extended clip that was allegedly in the possession of a convicted felon,” King said.

Ruffin appeared at a hearing Tuesday morning where his bond was set at $50,000. He is scheduled for a Jan. 5 arraignment.