County paid $62,000 for suspect's medical care
Champaign County taxpayers had to pay about $62,000 for the medical care rendered to a man charged with home invasion as well as pay for hundreds of hours for police to guard him.
Anthony S. Brown, 25, of Champaign was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, on Sept. 9 after being hit four times by gunfire from Champaign police officers.
The shooting occurred at 1207 Crispus Drive, where Brown allegedly forced his way in while armed and was threatening the people present — his girlfriend's three children and a toddler.
"When he came in initially, he was walking around with a gun saying, 'Where's your mother? I'm going to kill her,'" recounted State's Attorney Julia Rietz, who said she felt the officers were justified in firing at Brown after he pointed a gun at them.
Preliminary reports were that eight rounds were fired and four hit Brown.
Taxpayers had to start footing the bill for Brown's care nine days later on Sept. 18, when Sheriff Dan Walsh served the warrant charging Brown with home invasion and being an armed habitual criminal.
Walsh said he served the warrant when he believed it was possible for Brown to leave the hospital under his own power. That meant law enforcement officers had to begin guarding him at the hospital.
Brown was released from Carle on Oct. 12 and taken directly to the county jail, where he remains in lieu of $1 million bond. His next court date on the Class X felony charges is Jan. 22.
So far, the sheriff's office has received about $161,152 in hospital and medication bills for Brown but has paid only about $61,886 since the county receives the public aid rate.
That figure does not include what it cost to guard Brown, a task that several local police departments shared.
"In the normal scheme, we staff that ourselves with corrections or law enforcement, frequently on overtime. In this case, the other agencies volunteered to help us. We had Illinois State Police, University of Illinois, Urbana, Champaign and us all taking turns. We do not have to reimburse those agencies for expenses or overtime, which would have been huge. I think they realized at the point we took custody, it is a huge time and financial burden," Walsh said.
Records kept by Walsh indicated that officers from the five departments spent 579 man-hours guarding Brown. The bulk of that time — 280 hours — was provided by correctional officers from the jail, who earn anywhere from $20 to $28 an hour.