Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Michaela Burton
A Decatur man has been charged with aggravated domestic battery at his arraignment and is no longer able to see his girlfriend or go to the house they used to live in together.
Scott, 47, was arrested June 24 and held in Macon County Jail on $50,000 bond. His next court date is July 25.
On June 23 at 6:58 p.m. police reports say Scott began to strangle his girlfriend using only his thumb and index finger. He allegedly pushed her into a corner in the wall and repeatedly punched and hit her in the face and even threatened to kill her.
Soon after that, Scott began to drag his girlfriend to the upper level of the house by her hair, according to the report. When the opportunity came, she ran to the neighbor’s house for help. Scott allegedly entered the neighbor’s house and dragged his girlfriend out by her hair while screaming at her, calling her names and punching and kicking her in the ribs.
When officers came later and rescued her, they noted that she had a black eye, scrapes on her arms, legs and back and small red marks around her throat. They also noticed dirt and grass stains on her from being dragged outside.
Another case arraigned the same day as Scott’s was that of Leondis Coleman. He was charged with aggravated driving under the influence, aggravated fleeing police and resisting arrest. Bond was set at $100,000 and his next court date is July 25.
At about 3:30 a.m. June 23 in the 1200 block of East William, a Decatur police officer noticed a driver swerving, driving through traffic control devices and going so fast over railroad tracks that his back wheels appeared to have left the ground.
According to the police report filed with the court, the officer turned his lights on and followed the car, assuming the car would cooperate and pull over. Instead, the car sped up, trying to lose the officer.
Eventually police used stop sticks to end the chase, causing both front tires of Coleman’s car to go flat.
The officer got out and ordered Coleman to shut the car off.Coleman did so then got out of the vehicle. When he was identified, the officer told him to get back inside the vehicle, but Coleman refused to do so.
As more officers came, Coleman was ordered to the ground. As they tried to take Coleman into custody, he struggled and tried resisting arrest, according to the report.
He wouldn’t let them put handcuffs on him, wouldn’t listen to anything they told him and continuously braced himself on the ground, police said.
Officers noted that he staggered out of his car, had slurred speech and wouldn’t listen to anybody.
At the hospital when he was told to take a breath test, he said something along the lines of “I’m not that drunk, blowing into this won’t help me.” His excuse for running away was that he didn’t want to go back to prison, and he made it clear that he was sorry for getting caught when he was at the hospital and apologized several times for what he had done.
His bond was posted at $100,000. Coleman could not pay his part of the bond, so he asked if the judge would lower the cost of his bond. “[Why would I do that], you’re a menace to society,” said Judge Holly F. Clemons.