2 Face Charges In Illinois Crime Spree That Included Shooting Deputy

Friday, June 22nd 2007, 7:08 am
By: News On 6

ARCOLA, Ill. (AP) _ Two men accused of taking part in a wild crime spree that included fleeing police, robbing a house, stealing a car, shooting a sheriff's deputy and taking hostages were in custody Friday awaiting charges.

The sheriff's deputy was hospitalized in critical condition. The hostages were unharmed.

The ordeal began during a midmorning traffic stop Thursday when the suspects sped off after a drug-sniffing dog was brought in to search their car, State Police Sgt. Bill Emery said.

After robbing a house a few miles from where they were stopped, the men ditched their car and stole a van, he said.

Chief Deputy Tommy Martin pulled the van over shortly afterward and was shot in the face and torso as he approached the vehicle, Emery said.

Despite his wounds, Martin was able to radio for help and say what direction the van headed. Authorities pursued the van in a chase that reached speeds over 100 mph as the suspects fired on them, he said.

The driver lost control of the van as it careered over railroad tracks, and the suspects abandoned it, Emery said. One suspect was taken into custody. The other fled into a nearby bank.

He holed up there with five hostages, releasing four of them over seven hours. After speaking with an FBI hostage negotiator, the suspect peacefully exited the bank with the remaining hostage, Emery said.

``They both agreed he would come out and surrender,'' he said. ``We told him what door to go out and he went out the door and the hostage with him.''

Authorities declined to identify the hostages. But Bill Pullen, 69, told Chicago's WLS-TV that he and his grandson Brad Pullen, the bank's 27-year-old manager, were among them. He said their alleged captor ``was only threatening'' initially.

``His main thing was that nobody is gonna get hurt, which you have a tendency not to believe in that situation,'' he said.

Both suspects were being held at Douglas County Jail. Authorities said they did not know which one shot the deputy.

Sheriff Charlie McGrew said Martin, a 59-year-old father of two, had one of two planned surgeries and that it went ``very well.'' Martin was listed in critical condition at the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, nursing supervisor Sue Gelvin said.

Arcola, about 150 miles south of Chicago, is home to an Old Order Amish settlement. The rural area features Amish homes, business and schools, and horse-drawn buggies and tractors are a frequent sight.