CHICAGO — An Ankeny man faces charges after he allegedly stored guns and ammunition in his Chicago hotel room, but now his friends and family are coming to his defense in an attempt to clear his name.
Keegan Casteel, 32, of Ankeny faces two felony charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was arrested after a hotel employee alerted police after discovering a rifle, a semi-automatic pistol, ammunition and a high-powered scope in a room at the W Hotel overlooking Chicago’s lakefront on July 4.
While Casteel can own those firearms in Iowa, he did not have the permit to have them in Illinois. Casteel’s intentions are still unclear, but Chicago authorities have their own suspicions.
“There’s no previous history of this person nor any issues in federal databases, but obviously it’s very concerning given the position of the W Hotel to Navy Pier,” said Chicago police Supt. David Brown.
However, Casteel’s friends and family are coming to his defense. They describe him as a harmless and kind person and say he would never have sinister intentions.
They are now raising money on behalf of Casteel. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for his legal funds and to “defend his good name.”
“The facts will show Keegan had no intentions on doing any harm to anybody,” the description of the GoFundMe says. “His business has suffered from this and because of this, can’t support his family, much less pay for legal fees. Ironically, his business is inundated with death threats and his employees vehicles have been vandalized.”
The GoFundMe was created four days ago and has already raised close to $2,000 for Casteel.
WHO 13 News has reached out to Casteel’s family members, friends and colleagues to learn more about him. From those who have responded, they have said positive things about him, but no one wants to talk on the record.
Casteel’s next court hearing is this Wednesday.