Villa Grove man faces stolen-vehicle charges after chase near Willard Airport

Villa Grove man faces stolen-vehicle charges after chase near Willard Airport

URBANA — A Villa Grove man is facing charges after leading University of Illinois police on a short chase early Friday morning that ended in a muddy field near Willard Airport.

Dane Richard Chandler, 23, was charged Monday with felony possession of a stolen vehicle and two misdemeanors — driving under revocation and fleeing and attempting to elude police.

Bond was set at $3,000; he is due back in court Dec. 18.

If convicted of the most-serious charge, Chandler faces penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison.

According to a University of Illinois police report, an officer observed Chandler driving erratically about 5:30 a.m. Friday near Dunlap Avenue and Airport Road. Police ran the license plate of the vehicle and learned it had been reported stolen.

The officer turned on the squad car's lights and sirens to initiate a traffic stop, but Chandler did not stop, police said. Instead, he drove into a field near Dunlap and Monticello Road, where the vehicle got stuck in the mud. He then began running away, police said. Officers gave chase, caught him and arrested him.

Police said Chandler admitted to taking the vehicle to buy drugs and to eating a bag containing 2 grams of crystal methamphetamine while he was being chased by police.

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