CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police got a hand from three citizens in arresting an armed man who allegedly held up a Champaign restaurant Friday night.
Larry D. Pettigrew, 23, who listed an address in the 0-100 block of East Beardsley Avenue, Champaign, remained in the county jail Saturday in lieu of $200,000 bond on preliminary charges of armed robbery, unlawful use of weapons, and resisting a peace officer in connection with a holdup at the Hardee’s restaurant, 1806 W. Bradley Ave.
Champaign police Sgt. Tom Frost said officers were called at 9:40 p.m. to an armed robbery in progress. Officer Rich Carroll was in the area and saw two men running east from the business. The men spotted him but kept running. Carroll continued to chase the men in his squad car into the parking lot of the Village Pantry gas station at 1201 N. Mattis Ave., just east of the Hardee’s.
As Carroll was pulling in, Frost said three college-aged men who were about to go in the gas station grabbed Pettigrew, held on to him, and forced him to the ground. The other robber kept running.
Frost said as soon as Carroll got on top of Pettigrew, the men went in the station, leaving him struggling with Pettigrew.
“While Carroll is trying to get him in custody, the guy is facedown with both arms under him trying to get to his own gun. Rich is trying to get him to put his hands behind his back and ultimately uses defensive tactics to get him to comply,” Frost said.
About that time, Parkland Officer Jared Ping arrived to help Carroll.
Frost said Carroll recovered the handgun from Pettigrew’s waistband and cash believed to have been taken in the robbery. No shots were fired.
“Carroll is one of our defensive tactics officers and it worked out perfectly,” Frost said. “We just had training on this in the last month and that’s exactly what he used to solve the problem.”
Police are still looking for the second man involved in the holdup.
Anyone with information should call Champaign police at 217-351-4545 or callers can remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477 (TIPS). Tips can also be submitted through www.373tips.com or by text by sending CCTIP plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES).