PC Heard agg batt charges

Jeffrey Heard, 37, of Pipestone, Minn., charged Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, with three counts of aggravated battery in connection with an early-morning incident Tuesday at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana, where he was taken for a mental-health evaluation.

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URBANA — A Minnesota man who allegedly attacked police and hospital employees while being evaluated for mental-health issues has had more criminal charges filed against him.

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said she filed the charges Wednesday against Jeffrey Heard, 37, of Pipestone, Minn., after an early-morning incident Tuesday at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana.

Heard had been charged Jan. 3 in connection with an incident the day before at the Illinois State Police District 10 headquarters in Pesotum. He had pulled his truck in the parking lot and allegedly began talking about conspiracy theories with a trooper, who noticed he was wearing a gun in a holster.

When he became agitated with the trooper, the trooper had him get out of the truck. Troopers ultimately found several guns, ammunition and drugs in the truck, arrested him and seized the guns and ammunition.

In court Jan. 3 to be arraigned for possession of a controlled substance, cannabis and weapons, Heard asked for the services of a public defender, and Judge Adam Dill appointed one.

Rietz said unknown to her office or the judge, state troopers had allowed Heard to keep $10,000 cash that was in the truck, believing they had no grounds to take the money.

Heard then posted bond and was released. And because of a defense request that a psychiatrist evaluate him, jail staff took Heard to OSF for an involuntary commitment, Rietz said.

Rietz said about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, Heard allegedly became violent with OSF staffers who were trying to give him medication. They called Urbana police for help and it took four officers armed with a shield, pepper spray and a Taser to get Heard out of the room in which he had barricaded himself.

They eventually got him under control and restrained him but did not arrest him, leaving him with the hospital staff.

Rietz said two Urbana police officers and one member of the hospital staff had allegedly been struck by Heard, prompting her to file three counts of aggravated battery against him and obtain an arrest warrant.

When the hospital was ready to release Heard on Friday morning, Urbana police picked him up on the warrant — this time with a $500,000 bond — and took him back to jail.

He was arraigned Friday on the new counts and told to be back in court with his own attorney Jan. 24.


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).