URBANA – A man accused of taking the duty weapon of a Champaign County sheriff's deputy Friday was charged Monday with disarming a peace officer.
A warrant was served Monday on Richard B. Martinez, 39, whose last known address was in Phoenix, as he recovered from injuries he sustained after being shot by an unidentified police officer Friday night.
Bond was set at $500,000, so he'll have to post $50,000 in cash to be released from jail once he's released from Carle Foundation Hospital, where he was listed in good condition this morning. He'll be arraigned after his release.
Sheriff Dan Walsh released Martinez' name Monday, saying officials had difficulty confirming his identity earlier. Walsh said he was hoping to receive confirmation through fingerprints today that the man charged is actually Martinez.
He is accused of taking the weapon of Deputy Jonathan Reifsteck, who's been a deputy about 2 years.
Police said earlier that the confrontation started just before 10 p.m. Friday when Reifsteck was investigating a suspicious person on East University Avenue near Smith Road in Urbana. The man, now identified as Martinez, ran from Reifsteck, who tackled him. During a struggle, Martinez took Reifsteck's gun from him, pointed it at him, then ran away with the gun.
Another deputy chased Martinez and shot at him after Martinez stopped and pointed the gun at that deputy. Martinez then tried to get in a home in the 2500 block of East Main Street in Urbana, then ran again and was spotted later in a pickup truck on Dewey Street in Urbana.
Urbana and Champaign police officers confronted him but he refused to comply with their orders.
A release said officers feared for their safety and fired several shots at Martinez.
Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh refused to release many details of the investigation but said that neither Reifsteck or any of his other deputies who were involved "suffered any significant injuries."
Walsh declined to say who shot Martinez or whether Reifsteck's gun was recovered.
An investigation is now under way by the Serious Use of Force Team, a team with police representatives from Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, University of Illinois, Illinois State Police and the Champaign County sheriff's office.
"I'm surprised at how much there is to do," Walsh said of the investigation, adding that the team, with about 20 members, will meet again Thursday. Rantoul police Sgt. Jeff Wooten is heading the investigation.
Walsh said Reifsteck and the other deputies involved in the incident will likely return to work Wednesday.
"Our normal policy when there is a traumatic incident is to give the guys a couple of days off to collect themselves," he said.
Jonathan Reifsteck is the son of Jim Reifsteck, a captain who has been with the Champaign County Sheriff's Office 32 years. Jonathan Reifsteck also has a brother who's been a road deputy for almost five years.
You can reach Mary Schenk at (217) 351-5313 or via e-mail at email@example.com.