Listen to this article

URBANA — A judge Tuesday declined to increase the cash bond of a Ludlow man awaiting trial in three Champaign County felony cases but did order him to continue taking his medication if he wants to remain free.

On Tuesday, Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsey Clark argued to Judge Roger Webber that Ross Radke, 64, a one-time village trustee and unsuccessful candidate for mayor, was both a flight risk and a danger to the public, based on behavior he allegedly exhibited last spring.

Radke countered that he has been on antidepressant and mood-disorder medication for five months and is sleeping and eating right.

“I’m stable. I don’t feel I’m a risk to the public anymore,” Radke told Webber. “Everything is much, much better now.”

On Jan. 5, Radke made his first court appearance in Champaign County in about 10 months, having been locked up in Indiana and getting treatment off and on during 2020.

On that day, he was arraigned on a third felony from Champaign County that had been filed last summer stemming from an April 16 incident where he allegedly tried to crash his car through a fence at Willard Airport, doing about $1,000 damage.

He informed Webber that he would continue to represent himself on that charge of criminal damage to state-supported property, as well as charges filed in 2019 of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated battery to a police officer.

The weapons charge alleges that on May 4, 2019, while armed with a loaded gun and several magazines, he approached a woman in a car outside a Rantoul laundromat and ordered her out.

About five months later, he was charged with aggravated battery for allegedly trying to strangle a correctional officer at the satellite jail in Urbana on Sept. 18, 2019.

After initially being found unfit to stand trial on those charges, Radke was found fit in January 2020 and told the judge then that he wanted to represent himself, as is his right.

In February, he posted bond and was released, showed up again for court in March, then wasn’t heard from for a while.

In the meantime, Clark learned that charges had been filed against Radke in Marion County, Ind., because on April 18, he allegedly sped through an active construction site, damaging freshly-poured concrete on Interstate 70 east of Indianapolis and nearly striking construction workers. That caused about $100,000 damage, she said.

Five days after that incident, she told the judge, Radke was arrested again for allegedly creating a disturbance at an Indianapolis laundromat where he ripped signs off machines, refused to leave and resisted the efforts of a police officer to remove him peacefully.

The April 16 incident at Willard did not come to her attention until months later because University of Illinois police were unaware of Radke’s pending charges and sent him a notice to appear in court later for allegedly damaging the airport gate.

Because he had left the state without permission, Clark filed the motion to increase his bond.

It went unheard until Tuesday because he had been in custody in Indiana until recently.

Clark said she believes the Indiana charges are also unresolved, although Radke suggested otherwise to the judge, saying there was some “confusion” when he was released from custody in Indianapolis.

Radke told the judge that three months of hospitalization at the Neuro Diagnostic Institute in Indianapolis helped him learn what was wrong with him and the importance of taking medication, which he has been on for five months.

He said he intends to assert a “not guilty by reason of insanity” defense in all his cases.

Asked by Webber if he felt he had the legal acumen to take on his own defense, Radke told the judge he did and was going to be filing the necessary paperwork this week and had a doctor lined up to testify.

His cases were continued until March 9.


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

Trending Videos