Threat at restaurant brings weapons charge

URBANA — A Champaign man currently serving a sentence of probation for attempted armed robbery has been charged with a weapons violation.

Gabriel M. Chaney, 20, who listed an address in the 200 block of Hessel Boulevard, was charged Wednesday with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and aggravated assault for allegedly threatening a teen in a restaurant in northwest Champaign.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett said in court that Chaney, a member of a street gang, and the victim, a 17-year-old from Champaign, have been feuding and saw each other in Popeye's Chicken, 910 Bloomington Road, shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Chaney reportedly asked the teen if he had his "pole," which the victim took to mean a gun, and then threatened to shoot the teen inside the restaurant. When a witness suggested that shooting inside the restaurant would attract police, Chaney told her that was okay because he had bond money. He then allegedly pulled up his shirt so that the male victim and the witness could see a handgun in his waistband.

The victim called his mother, who arrived at the business in time to see Chaney and Jailyne Roberts, 18, of the 1400 block of Dobbins Down, Champaign, walking away. She called police, who made contact with the two.

Chaney cooperated with police but Roberts started walking away. Police quickly caught up with Roberts and found that he had a loaded Ruger .357 in his waistband that police learned had been stolen in a burglary last year at the Champaign Rural King store. Roberts also had a small amount of cannabis in two bags.

Police recovered only one gun, according to Bennett.

Chaney is currently serving a four-year sentence of probation after pleading guilty in March 2013 to the attempted armed robbery of a man that happened June 12, 2012, outside a car detailing business on East Main Street in Urbana. The victim in that case, Curtis Mosley, 29, was shot in the leg and buttocks as he ran away.

Chaney's co-defendant, Ardis Fenn, 24, of Urbana, was convicted by a jury of aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting Mr. Mosley during that robbery attempt.

However, Mr. Mosley was then fatally shot a year ago in his Urbana apartment, allegedly by Fenn, who did not want Mr. Mosley to testify against him in the attempted robbery trial.

Fenn is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence for shooting Mr. Mosley during the robbery attempt. Fenn has never been charged with Mr. Mosley's murder, even though two eyewitnesses identified him as the man who fatally shot Mr. Mosley on Feb. 4, 2013.

If convicted of the unlawful possession of weapon by a felon charge, Chaney faces an extended term with penalties ranging from probation to two to 10 years in prison. Aggravated assault is a misdemeanor.

Roberts was charged with possession of a firearm without a valid firearm owner's identification card and possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis, both Class A misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of up to 364 days in the county jail.

Judge John Kennedy set Chaney's bond at $100,000 and ordered him to be back in court Feb. 21 for a probable cause hearing.

The judge set Roberts' bond at $25,000 and told him to be back in court March 13.

Kennedy ordered both Chaney and Roberts to have no contact with the victim.

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use er name wrote on February 12, 2014 at 6:02 pm

How does a gang member get probation???Being in a streetgang is a public declaration that the member is a criminal.

787 wrote on February 13, 2014 at 8:02 am

It happens when Julia Rietz is your State's Attorney.

She's only interested in making felons out of shoplifters.  The true dangers to society get probation.  The former U of I band director is another one who got a sweetheart deal from Julia.  But no one, even the News-Gazette, will point out how horrible of a job that she does on a daily basis.

Champaign County deserves much better than this pathetic excuse for a State's Attorney that we have now.

Skepticity wrote on February 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Freedom of association prevents giving consequences for just claiming membership in a "social club." 

More pertinent, how do you get probation after admitting attempted armed robbery?  You were part of a crime threatening someone's life and you were put on probation???!!!

Let's just keep putting the dangerous criminals back on the street.  After all, they will follow the law if they are on probation. 

use er name wrote on February 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

thinks wrote on February 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm

So glad the victim was not injured and the perp has been charged. Not to make light of this, but would everyone who's up to no good in CU please agree that Popeye's is neutral ground? The chicken is delicious, people. Please do not interfere with our safe and regular access to the chicken.

ataylor61802 wrote on February 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Sounds like he is a true threat to society. Hopefully his prison sentence will reflect that.

Skepticity wrote on February 13, 2014 at 9:02 am

For RICO you have to present evidence that his criminal activity was related to the corrupt organization, and that the crimes were part of the gang's activity, not an isolated act.  Just saying he is a (fill in the blank with a gang name) wouldn't be sufficient for RICO. 

But the crime he committed should have been seen as serious enough in itself to rule out probation as a sentence. 

Too many criminals are returned to the streets after committng crimes placing the lives of others at risk or causing harm through violence.  Attempted armed robbery should be enough for a prison sentence, gang member or not. 

By the way, prisons have routinely asked about gang affiliation as part of intake so they can avoid housing prisoners on units full of opposing gang members. 

thesimpleman wrote on February 13, 2014 at 10:02 am

Just wondering if he still has the bond money.lol lol lol

alabaster jones 71 wrote on February 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm
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Who would have guessed that Popeye's would wind up being a hotbed for gang activity?

Also, I feel really bad for the young man that this paper printed the details of him calling his mom to chase after the assailants.  He's going to get beat up every day now.

Hank Hill wrote on February 14, 2014 at 11:02 am
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That boy ain't right.

CRK wrote on February 19, 2014 at 8:02 am

^^LOL