Teen driver charged in car chase was in prison for same offense 18 days earlier

Teen driver charged in car chase was in prison for same offense 18 days earlier

URBANA — A Champaign teen had been out of juvenile prison for possession of a stolen vehicle all of 18 days when he was arrested Tuesday for the same offense after a car chase from Rantoul to rural Ludlow.

Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis ruled it was a matter of "immediate and urgent necessity" that a 15-year-old boy with several prior convictions be held in detention until a May 24 trial in his case.

The state's attorney's office filed two felonies and a misdemeanor against the youth on Wednesday in the wake of his arrest Tuesday afternoon in rural Ludlow.

In a brief court hearing, Difanis read charges to the boy accusing him of possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and theft.

Assistant State's Attorney Matt Banach told the judge that about 1:45 p.m., a Rantoul police officer saw a Ford Taurus in town that had been reported stolen from Champaign.

The officer attempted to stop the car, which was first going under the speed limit by about 10 mph, then sped up, doing about 90 mph in a 55 mph zone on U.S. 45 north out of Rantoul.

The Rantoul officer eventually backed off and other police joined in the pursuit.

When the car blew a tire and came to a stop, a girl who was inside got out. The car then kept going and ended up in a farm field in Ludlow, with the tire off its rim, Banach said.

Inside the car were a PlayStation, an Amazon tablet and a purse, all of which belonged to the car owner.

Banach said only the male driver was charged Wednesday. Police reports regarding the two female passengers have yet to be reviewed. They were not held in detention Tuesday.

Banach said the driver had two prior juvenile adjudications for possession of a stolen vehicle from 2015 and 2016, both of which landed him in juvenile prison. He had been released April 28,

He also had other adjudications dating to 2013 for aggravated battery, residential burglary and criminal damage to property.

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nschne393 wrote on May 17, 2017 at 7:05 pm

3rd time stolen vehicle, driving 90, agg. battery, residential burglary, criminal damage to property.  Julie--this young man wants to act like an adult, time to charge him as one.   

burl55 wrote on May 18, 2017 at 5:05 am

This is what happens when Reitz's office does not pay attention to a criminals past behavior. Now, Julia, do you see any evidence of this guy being another one of your "outstanding citizens?" All he needs is yet "one more chance?" Oh, he had a "rough" childhood and can't help it? Well I know a lot of kids who grew up with one parent absent, prison or just fled the family life. And they did not steal cars and hit people. Why? Because they were old enough to know better and chose not to act that way. About 10-15 years in prison will do this thug good!