Weekend crimes follow ‘concerning’ trend

Champaign and University police responded to multiple incidents of criminal activity over Homecoming Weekend.

Two crime alerts were sent out Sunday detailing occurrences of aggravated battery and assault involving a weapon. The alerts are among five sent out this month; twelve have been sent out since the start of school in August.

Thirteen e-mail alerts were sent out over the entirety of the 2010 spring semester.

“Homecoming weekend is always a busy weekend for everyone, so it potentially could have been related to the increased crime alerts,” said University Police Deputy Chief Jeff Christensen. “But what we’re seeing isn’t unusual.”

In the mean time Christensen promises that police will continue investigations into all incidents.

“With the aggravated batteries continuing, those have kind of been centralized to the Champaign portion of the campus district,” he said. “And having one near Daniels Hall (1010 W. Green St., Urbana) is quite concerning, so we will stay aggressive on that.”

One incident involved a firearm discharged at the 700 block of Sixth Street early Sunday morning. Champaign police arrested a 20-year-old male connected to the crime, in which two offenders began yelling at a victim and a third arrived in a vehicle and pulled a handgun from the front of his pants. The gun discharged and fell to the ground, whereafter one offender picked it up and hit the victim with it, causing it to discharge several more times. While the victim was not shot, he did seek medical attention for other injuries.

The arrested suspect was secured by police after he went to Carle Hospital seeking treatment for a gunshot wound.

Champaign police arrested two suspects for their alleged connection to a battery incident that occurred on campus late Saturday night.

According to a press release, officers were told that two male offenders were battering a 22-year-old male at the 100 block of East Healey Street. One was a white male, approximately 18 years old, who punched the victim several times before fleeing the scene. A 16-year-old male also approached the victim and punched him before fleeing. While the 16-year-old was arrested, police are still seeking information about the first suspect.

Champaign police also arrested two people for their alleged connection to an aggravated battery case that occurred at the 400 block of East Green Street early Sunday morning.

Christensen encouraged students to be careful during this time.

“We know it’s concerning, but we put crime alerts out to increase awareness,” he said. “So in that respect it’s all the more real. But as always try not to walk alone and stay with your group.”