A 41-year-old Illinois man has been charged with drug possession, weapons possession and assaulting a police officer after allegedly attempting to flee from a McDonough County Sheriff’s Office deputy during the early morning hours of Aug. 8. The man is being held at the McDonough County Jail. Police say that when they ran a records check on the pickup truck the man was using, they discovered that the vehicle had been reported stolen. Approximately 15 grams of methamphetamine and a stolen handgun were allegedly discovered in the vehicle.
The chain of events began when the deputy approached a man who appeared to be sleeping behind the wheel of a pickup truck parked at the intersection of Illinois Route 336 and U.S. Highway 136 near Tennessee. The man behind the wheel allegedly attempted to flee the scene when the deputy woke him, but the deputy managed to prevent the vehicle from moving by shifting it into park. A scuffle then ensued, and the deputy says that he used a Taser to try to subdue the man. When the Taser was ineffective, the man allegedly fled on foot into a nearby 20-acre cornfield.
The MCSO enlisted the help of the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety, the Macomb Police Department and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office to set up a perimeter around the field. The Illinois State Police also sent a helicopter to assist with the search. The man was taken into custody without further incident after about four hours according to media reports.
The fear of spending years or even decades in prison for serious drug offenses can provide a powerful motivation to flee from police, but these attempts almost always end in failure and will usually lead to additional charges. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise individuals in such a situation to cooperate with police, remain silent and ask for an attorney.