Teen arrested for armed robbery near Centennial

Teen arrested for armed robbery near Centennial

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign teen was charged Thursday for allegedly robbing a Centennial High School student at gunpoint near the school.

Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn said Walter C. Willis, 18, who listed an address in the 2000 block of West John Street, was arrested in a parked vehicle on Crescent Drive not long after the 10 a.m. holdup.

Dunn said an assistant principal at Centennial reported to the school resource officer that a 16-year-old student said he'd been approached by a man while he was standing at the corner of Hollycrest Drive and William Street about 10 a.m.

The man, whom he didn't know, displayed a gun and ordered the teen to empty his pockets. During the encounter, the robber pulled the trigger while pointing the gun at the victim but the gun did not fire. The victim handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and the robber left, headed north.

Based on a description given by the victim, police found Willis sitting in a parked vehicle in the 500 block of Crescent Drive. They also found a gun in the vehicle.

Willis was charged Thursday with armed robbery, aggravated unlawful use of weapons and obstructing justice. Dunn said he gave officers a false name and date of birth. 

Court records show Willis is currently serving a sentence of probation for an aggravated battery that occurred last May.


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Fromthearea wrote on January 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

I would consider the lablel "teenager" to be under 18, and 18 and over to be labeled as an adult.  He will be tried as an adult, the state recognizes him as an adult, so why not present him as an adult?

Smitto wrote on January 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

I get what your intentions are (and mostly agree), but regardless of how he is tried, 18 and 19 year olds are still considered teenagers. In some cases 14, 15, or 16 year olds get tried as an adult. That doesn't make them any more of an adult, or any less of a teen.

If you want to change the label, "Idiot" would be the most appropriate!

debbie d wrote on January 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

smitto, not necessarily. 18 yrs are are tried as adults.  There are alot of variables when it comes to young people (ages 14,15,16,17) that depend on the seriousness of the crime.  If it is a petty crime for a young person, yes, they will be tried as a juvenile, but if it is more serious (which can inflict harm) then they are tried as an adult.

Smitto wrote on January 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

I think you missed my point there Debbie. The original poster said they should not be labeled as teens, when in fact, they are most definitely still considered teenagers, regardless of how they are tried, how mature they are, or what they are doing with their life. Say or spell out "18" or "19." The word "TEEN" is just screaming at you. A "teenager" is a person between the ages of 13 and 19. That will never change.


Not to mention that in my post I already stated that younger teenagers are often tried as adults. That doesn't mean they are not teenagers.