Two arrested in armed robberies

Two arrested in armed robberies

URBANA — Two men were arraigned Monday afternoon on charges of armed robbery, following their arrest on Sunday evening that also produced two unrelated arrests near Carle Foundation Hospital.

According to State’s Attorney Julia Rietz, Derrick Cox, 20, of Urbana, and Tavarus Murphy, 17, of Melrose Park, were formally charged Monday with two counts of armed robbery, one for each of two victims in incidents that took place on Sunday evening.

At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, a man walking in the 600 block of East White Street, Champaign, near the Engineering Quad, was approached by two men. They pushed him against a wall and one showed a firearm and demanded his wallet and phone. They then ran off.

Shortly after that, a man and woman walking into the courtyard of an apartment building, also in the 600 block of East White Street, were robbed at gunpoint of a backpack. The man called police and followed the two until they got into a Lincoln Town Car.

University of Illinois and Champaign police stopped the car in the 600 block of West University Avenue, Urbana, near Carle. Rietz said a loaded gun and items taken in the robberies were found in the car. Cox and Murphy were arrested. Although Murphy is 17, he is charged as an adult as required by state law on armed robbery, Rietz said.

Bond for both men was set at $250,000. They are both due back in court on April 1.

During the traffic stop, a sport utility vehicle that wasn’t involved in the stop hit the side mirror of a pickup truck, then drove past a Champaign police officer and hit him with the passenger side mirror, spinning him out of the way. The officer was treated for minor injuries and then immediately returned to duty.

Urbana police arrested the driver of the sport utility vehicle, Jeffrey J. Taylor, 31, of Urbana, for aggravated driving under the influence.

According to an Urbana police report, Taylor appeared to be intoxicated.

A test conducted at the county jail indicated that Taylor had a blood alcohol content of 0.218, according to the report. In Illinois, a person is presumed to be intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or above.

Taylor is due in court on March 14.

A passenger in Taylor’s vehicle, Charles Meeks, 29, who listed an address in the 600 block of East Vine Street, Champaign, was arrested by police for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance.

Meeks is being held at the county jail on $26,000 bond and is due back in court on April 1.

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