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Man attempted to steal tow truck - 05.25.22 (IL)

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Danville man punched cop, tried stealing gun, tow truck in McLean County, prosecutors say


BLOOMINGTON — An Illinois State Police trooper suffered lacerations to his face Wednesday during a violent interaction with a Danville man after a traffic stop on Interstate 55 in Chenoa Township, prosecutors said.


In court on Friday, McLean County state’s attorneys displayed a police vehicle dash camera video of the altercation in which Randy M. Turner, 39, is shown standing alongside his vehicle having a conversation with the trooper before he suddenly lowers his shoulders and tackles the officer to the ground.


Police pulled Turner’s vehicle over on I-55 after it was detected to be traveling 109 mph. The trooper notified Turner that his driver's license was expired and explained that his vehicle would be towed, that Turner would obtain a ride to the McLean County jail for a citation, and he would then be released, prosecutors said.


The video had begun with Turner waving the officer to come back toward his car. Turner and the officer spoke briefly, and then Turner tackled the trooper and attempted to take the officer’s firearm.


Turner punched the officer on the head at least three times during the physical altercation on the ground.


He obtained control of the trooper’s pepper spray and sprayed it toward the cop, at which time a motorist on I-55 pulled over and a man armed with a firearm ran toward the altercation and pointed his gun at Turner. The armed motorist possessed a concealed carry license, prosecutors said.


Turner ran onto I-55 between traffic and rushed to a tow truck that had arrived amid the incident. He climbed into the tow truck, but the police officer chased and Tased him in order to place him in custody, prosecutors said.


Turner is charged with two counts of disarming a peace officer, five counts of aggravated battery, unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, attempted possession of a stolen motor vehicle, criminal damage to government supported property, and driving under the influence of drugs.


The DUI citation noted that Turner admitted to smoking phencyclidine, or PCP, which is a dissociative hallucinogenic drug.


McLean County State’s Attorney Don Knapp said Turner provided recorded statements to police in which he said he attacked the officer because he didn’t want to go back to jail, and he attempted to take the officer’s gun because he “wanted to control the situation, and the person with the gun was in control.”


Turner further told police that had he obtained the gun, he would have shot toward the trooper if he attempted to arrest him, prosecutors said.


Turner, who appeared in bond court Friday from a jail cell via Zoom, said, “I really did (say that)? I’m sorry, judge.”


A judge set Turner’s bond at $2 million at 10%, meaning he needs $200,035 to be released from custody.


An arraignment is scheduled for June 24.

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