URBANA — An Urbana man who led police officers on a foot chase across Interstate 74 late Wednesday afternoon in Champaign was charged Friday with weapons offenses.
Corey A. Smith, 34, for whom no street address was listed, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm and resisting a peace officer.
According to Champaign police reports, local drug agents had used a confidential source to allegedly buy drugs from Smith recently. On Wednesday, they were watching him, saw him driving and pulled him over, knowing that his license was revoked and that he had other outstanding arrest warrants.
Smith was the only person in a car that pulled into an apartment complex at 2000 N. Mattis Ave. Several squad cars pulled up behind him and officers saw him get out of this car and briefly put his hands up.
One officer saw him remove something from his waist area, then heard a thump near his car.
Smith then ran away, ignoring multiple orders from police to stop.
As Smith ran north, the officer who heard the thump looked into Smith’s car and saw a loaded handgun on the driver’s floorboard. It had been reported stolen from Indiana, the report said.
Smith crossed Bloomington Road, then jumped a fence and ran across I-74. At least three Champaign officers all received cuts and puncture wounds to their hands from scaling multiple fences as they ran after Smith, and some also ran across I-74 to find him.
Smith was eventually found hiding in bushes in the 2200 block of Dale Drive and also had puncture wounds on his hands.
Police also found cash in his pocket that had the serial numbers of the money that the informant had used to buy drugs.
Smith was taken to the hospital to be checked out prior to being taken to jail.
Court records show Smith had pleaded guilty to a 2018 charge of driving under the influence but failed to appear in court for his sentencing confirmation.
He has other previous convictions for theft, obstructing justice, resisting arrest and attempted unlawful use of weapons.
The most serious of the offenses he was charged with Friday is possession of a stolen firearm. If convicted, he faces penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison.