UPDATED: Woman stabbed during hours-long standoff in Urbana

UPDATED: Woman stabbed during hours-long standoff in Urbana

URBANA — A 26-year-old woman was expected to recover from stabbing injuries she received after being held against her will for hours in an southeast Urbana apartment.

After a standoff that lasted about five hours, Urbana police, assisted by members of the METRO team, arrested Ismail A. Ervin, 28, at the apartment in the 900 block of East Harding Drive, about 2 a.m. Friday.

Paul Zerrouki, who manages the property where the standoff happened, said Ervin was not a tenant there, and had been banned from the property a couple of years ago. However, Zerrouki said Ervin’s brother, who leases the apartment and is a good tenant, allowed his brother to come and go.

Judge Jeff Ford set Ervin's bond Friday morning at $350,000. The bond had started at $250,000 but when Ervin uttered an expletive at the judge during his video arraignment from the satellite jail, the judge threatened to hold him in contempt of court and then increased the amount.

He would need to post $35,000 cash to be released.

Ervin’s arrest stemmed from a violent dispute with a woman in the apartment that began Thursday night.

Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said at 9:25 p.m., a resident of the building called police about a fight between a man and a woman in an apartment there. The woman had run from the apartment, chased by a man who forced her back in.

Officers eventually forced their way in the unlocked but chained door and from the living room called out to the people there. A man, later identified as Ervin, responded from the back of the apartment that if officers did not leave, “he would blow her head off.”

Officers got out and surrounded the building, with some remaining at the apartment door still talking to Ervin, who claimed to have a gun. He was holding the woman in the room with him.

Morgan said the METRO team was called and began negotiating with Ervin. The specially trained tactical team is made up of officers from the Urbana, Mahomet, Rantoul, Parkland, and University of Illinois police departments and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.

“When the suspect’s behavior became increasingly unpredictable, a decision was made to make entry into the apartment. The suspect was found in the bathroom stabbing the female with a screwdriver,” he said.

That was about 1:50 a.m.

The woman was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, where she was treated and released later Friday morning.

Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Ziegler told the judge she had several stab wounds on her head and arms and a couple in her shoulder that may have penetrated to the bone. She told police Ervin had a black handgun in the bedroom closet.

Morgan said the woman did not live there and was merely a friend of Ervin’s.

Police obtained a search warrant for the apartment but did not find a gun.

Because Friday was a court holiday, Ervin will not be formally charged until Monday.
He’s being held on preliminary charges including unlawful restraint, kidnapping, aggravated domestic battery and resisting police. Morgan said Ervin has several prior police contacts.

Court records show he has prior convictions for domestic battery and criminal trespass to residence. He also has a pending misdemeanor case charging him with aggravated assault and resisting a peace officer stemming from his arrest March 18 by Urbana police.






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wayward wrote on April 18, 2014 at 11:04 am

Hmmm... guess that might explain the lights and sirens I saw when I was out walking my dog near Vine between 9 and 10 last night.  Sort of suspected they were headed for that area of town.

Joe American wrote on April 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm
sweet caroline wrote on April 18, 2014 at 7:04 pm

I have enormous respect for our fine Urbana police officers.  They saved the life of this woman and apprehended the scumbag who tried to kill her.  I wonder why he isn't charged with attempted murder instead of aggravated domestic battery.