STERLING – A Whiteside County sheriff's deputy has been placed on administrative leave after he fired his gun at a car during a chase last night that resulted in the arrest of three men.
A news release from the Whiteside County Sheriff's Department, which SVM received almost 20 hours after the original incident, provided that information.
The deputy, whose name isn't being released, fired his gun at the car after "narrowly avoiding being run down," the release said.
Illinois State Police will handle the investigation into the shooting, after which Whiteside County State's Attorney Trish Joyce will review it to see if charges are warranted.
Passengers inside the car reportedly later told authorities that the driver, arrested and identified as Andre L. Peat, said, "I'm going to have to hit this guy."
The men, including Peat, were arrested last night just south of Rock Falls after a chase involving Sterling and Rock Falls police, Lee and Whiteside county sheriff's departments and the State Police.
Authorities found a handgun near where Peat fled from his car; he told police he was trying to dispose of it, the news release said.
According to information provided hours ago by Sterling Police Chief Ron Potthoff:
Officers were attempting to pull over a man driving through Sterling last night about 7:30 p.m. when he took off across First Avenue Bridge into Rock Falls. Police pursued the car as it headed south, then west into Whiteside County, then east into Lee County, where deputies had thrown down a spike strip on County Line Road south of Rock Falls.
The strip caused the car to veer into a ditch. Peat, 24, of Sterling, took off into a soybean field, as did two of his passengers: Robert M. Patterson, 27, of Sterling, and Lavelle T. Sykes, 26, of Chicago.
Two others stayed in the car.
Patterson and Sykes soon were arrested. A K9 unit was brought out to track Peat and a State Police plane was called out to help, but Potthoff didn't know if it was put to use because Peat was soon found with the aid of thermo-imaging glasses.
Neither of the two passengers who stayed in the car, a man and a woman from Whiteside County, are facing charges, Pothoff said; he declined to release their names.
Peat is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a felony, possession of a firearm without a FOID card, and obstructing/resisting a peace officer. He also is wanted on four warrants, two each from Lee and Ogle counties.
Peat in Whiteside County Jail on $500,000 bond.
Patterson is charged with obstructing/resisting a peace officer; he also has a Lee County warrant.
Sykes is charged with obstructing/resisting a peace officer.
According to court records, all three have local felony convictions:
Peat, formerly of Dixon, has a pending felony domestic battery case in Lee County Court; he was arrested July 1, 2013, and a warrant was issued for his arrest June 19. He failed to appear at a pretrial hearing after being told there was a warrant for his arrest in another case, records show.
On Jan. 24, 2011, he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death or injury; he pleaded guilty in Whiteside County Court that June to failure to report an accident and possession of drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to 2 years 6 months probation.
On Nov. 3, 2011, Peat was charged with aggravated battery in a public place and mob action, again in Whiteside County. He pleaded guilty to mob action on Jan. 24, 2012, and was sentenced to 1 year with the Department of Corrections. His probation in the previous case was revoked and he also was given a year with the DOC, to run after the mob action sentence.
He was convicted of domestic battery on Oct. 27, 2011, in Ogle County, and was sentenced to 4 years. On Jan. 1, 2013, he was charged with violating his probation; a warrant for failure to appear, the third in that case, was issued June 9.
On Nov. 8, 2012, in Lee County Court, Patterson was sentenced to 2 years probation for forgery. Eight days later, he was sentenced to 2 years, 6 months probation in Whiteside County Court for the same offense.
Sykes has three felony drug convictions stemming from two 2009 Whiteside County Court cases. He was sentenced to 4 years on each, all to run concurrently. Two were for selling cocaine, one for selling narcotics.
See the news releases