Proud Boy, who allegedly threatened to kill cop, seeks plea deal

By Bill Dwyer For Chronicle Media

Nicholas Stiso at a Proud Boys gathering. (Photo from social media)

A Chicago area Proud Boy, who allegedly threatened to kill an Oak Park police detective and shoot up the Hines Veterans Administration Hospital, has informed a judge he wants to change his not guilty plea during a Wednesday, July 17 court appearance. 

Nicholas Stiso, 32, who was reportedly homeless in January when arrested, is charged in a criminal complaint with threatening to “shoot up” the Oak Park Police Department, kill a police detective who investigated the death of his former girlfriend, harm his VA social worker and attack the Hines Veterans Hospital near Maywood. 

Stiso has a history of mental health problems and alcohol abuse, including homophobic, racist and misogynist rants. Additionally, his criminal history, according to prosecutors, includes “weapons offenses, assault, battery, and criminal damage to property.”  

Stiso was ordered detained by federal magistrate Judge Beth Gantz after his initial court appearance in January. In her order, Gantz requested that he be referred to the medical center at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago “to be evaluated to ensure that he receives proper medications.”  

Stiso was later transferred to the VA psychiatric facility in Milwaukee, but according to a status report filed in March, he “got into fights with other people and engaged in racist and antisemitic remarks.”

VA officials removed him from the in-house treatment program, and he was arrested at a subsequent court hearing. Saying there “was no good alternative here,” Wisconsin Eastern District Magistrate Judge Stephen Dries ordered him returned to Chicago.  

It’s unclear what the source is of Stiso’s alleged animus toward his VA social worker. But his anger at Oak Park Police Det. Kevin McCarthy clearly started after Stiso came to believe that McCarthy had somehow mishandled the death investigation of his late girlfriend, who investigators say died of a drug overdose in Oak Park in 2022.  

McCarthy, Stiso believed, was responsible for the woman not getting the “justice” she deserved.  

“I already selected my target. So that’s cool,” Stiso says on a transcript of a recorded message on a VA Crisis Line the afternoon of Dec. 21, 2023. “It’s going to be the department that didn’t get justice for my girl [Individual A] who passed away.” 

“… if somehow I get out of there alive,” Stiso added, “… I would take his state ID from his wallet and I’d go after his family, the kids would be next … .” 

In a social media video Stiso posted, then deleted, but which was saved and reposted by the subject of his post, he tells the woman, a survivor of a sexual assault during which she was drugged and unconscious while being raped, “No, you’re a victim. Survivors fight back and defend themselves. You’re a victim. You always have been and you always will be. I don’t care what you went through. I don’t give a shit.” 

Stiso has also posted on the Quota website, disclosing details of his chaotic existence. At one point he referred to “When I was homeless, I lived in the same spot in the woods for 90 days.” 

Stiso has attracted the attention of social justice activists opposing such groups as the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters online. They have used various open sources to compile something resembling a dossier on him and his activities. 

He also fancied himself something of a criminal mastermind. Commenting under the heading “How do vigilantes avoid getting caught?? Stiso wrote that one should “plan it out.” 

“It’s best that the target you’re getting justice on that you know where they live so you’re in no rush and don’t make mistakes.”  

According to state records, prior to May 2021, Stiso held a state license for security guard or private detective. However, the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation placed Stiso’s permanent employee registration card in “refuse to renew” status due to his being “convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor Carry/Possess Firearm /1st” and failing to report the arrest and conviction within 60 days.   

That arrest was by Berwyn Police in early 2020. He was convicted in January 2021.  

In May 2020, Stiso was arrested again, by Riverside Police, for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, criminal damage to property and for defacing identifying marks on a weapon.  

Police were called to a report of a man smashing car windows and standing on railroad tracks around midnight on May 28, screaming at no one in particular. When police arrived, they reportedly found Stiso highly intoxicated and carrying a loaded .38 caliber hand gun with a defaced serial number.  

He reportedly yelled at police “shoot me in the head, shoot me in the head,” before surrendering to arrest. Police subsequently found four vehicles nearby with all their windows smashed.  

Stiso seems to harbor resentment against police in general for their treatment of him. In response to a May 5, 2020 post by the Berwyn Police Departemtn on its Facebook page, Stiso posted the following note: “Yeah thanks for throwing out a homeless veterans stuff, oh and including my DD-214 great job guys really appreciate it and I really appreciate the only homeless shelter you guys looked up for me (which ended up being closed) was 30 miles away yeah above and beyond guys …” 

While Stiso makes mention of his service in the Marine Corps, it’s not clear how long he served or under what conditions he was discharged. Stiso posted a photo of himself online, wearing a Marine uniform, showing one stripe indicating the rank of private, or E-1. A new Marine receives the rank of E-1 upon graduating boot camp, and after six months in rank, is eligible for promotion to E-2, or Private First Class.