Bement man arrested after purse-snatching try

Bement man arrested after purse-snatching try

URBANA — A 25-year-old Bement man was arrested at midday Monday for allegedly trying to rob a woman of her purse on the University of Illinois campus.

UI police Lt. Matt Myrick said a 21-year-old Champaign woman was on the walkway between Morrill and Burrill halls, between Mathews and Goodwin avenues, about 11:20 a.m. when a man came up and tried to grab her purse off her arm.

"She hung on to it. He dragged her through some mulch and across the sidewalk and she was screaming and causing a commotion. When it appeared she wasn't going to give it up, he let go and ran away to the east," Myrick said.

Shortly after, UI and Urbana police spotted a man who matched the description the woman gave.

A UI officer tried to get out to talk to him near Green and Birch streets, but the man got away. Minutes later, Urbana police officer Dean Hazen saw the man in the 400 block of East California Avenue, and after a brief foot chase, Hazen and Urbana police Sgt. Adam Chacon caught Matthew Cheek.

Myrick said the woman identified Cheek as the person who tried to rob her. He was taken back to the UI Police Department, where he admitted he tried to steal the purse.

Myrick said Cheek was arrested for attempted robbery, aggravated battery and resisting a peace officer.

The attempted robbery was captured by a security camera on a campus building, Myrick said. He praised the citizens who helped the victim and pointed out to UI police the direction the alleged mugger had gone.

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