Squad car vandalism

Champaign police Chief Anthony Cobb on Saturday morning examines the damage done by a man who allegedly scribbled on Officer Chris Oberheim’s squad car, which has been parked outside the station in homage to the fallen officer.

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URBANA — A man who allegedly wrote on a Champaign squad car memorializing slain Officer Chris Oberheim has been charged with a felony.

The Champaign County State’s Attorney’s office on Thursday filed a single count of criminal defacement of a police memorial against Alonzo Miller, 31, for whom no address except Champaign was given.

The offense is a Class 4 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to one to three years in prison.

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said about 11:45 p.m. Friday, a Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District street supervisor on North First Street saw Miller writing on the squad car decked out in bunting and covered with flowers in Officer Oberheim’s memory at the northeast corner of the police station.

An officer went outside and talked to Miller, who was cooperative, and had a marker in his hand, Rietz said.

Among the writing were the words “Barrelhouse” and “sorry for your loss,” along with other indecipherable scribbling, Rietz said.

Miller was taken to jail, where he spent Saturday and part of Sunday before a judge released him on his own recognizance with a notice to appear in court Thursday.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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