UIPD makes firearm-related arrests for three consecutive weekends

A+university+police+officer+takes+a+lap+around+the+parking+before+leaving+the+area+on+October+8th%2C+2020.+UIPD+have+dealt+with+several+gun+related+crimes+the+past+weekend.+

Cameron Krasucki

A university police officer takes a lap around the parking before leaving the area on October 8th, 2020. UIPD have dealt with several gun related crimes the past weekend.

By Lilli Bresnahan and George Phelan

The University of Illinois Police Department arrested a 35-year-old man near Goodwin and Oregon avenues with a loaded gun and an extended magazine on Sunday. The man was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and taken to jail. 

This is the third weekend in a row UIPD has arrested someone with a gun. 

On Nov. 14, UIPD arrested a 20-year-old man with a gun, extended magazine and additional loaded magazines in a fanny pack in the 300 block of East Springfield Avenue, two blocks north of Green Street.  

The officer heard about a shooting a mile north of campus and saw a car driving away from that area at high speed and disobeying traffic laws. When the officer stopped the 20-year-old, he left from the passenger side and ran. The officer caught up with him and arrested him at gunpoint. 

On Nov. 22, UIPD arrested a 23-year-old man with a gun and an extended magazine near John and Neil streets in Champaign, only a few blocks from campus.

During a traffic stop, the 23-year-old was asked to exit the car and informed police he had a gun in his waistband. When he proceeded to reach for it, officers “quickly grabbed his arms and retrieved the weapon themselves,” according to a UIPD press release. The man was arrested for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

In the most recent incident on Nov. 28, UIPD arrested a 35-year-old man with a gun and extended magazine near Goodwin and Oregon avenues in Urbana.

During a stop for a missing front license plate, the 35-year-old, sitting in the passenger seat, was recognized by one of the officers as wanted on an arrest warrant for failing to appear in court related to a charge of resisting a police officer. Officers recovered the weapon after searching the vehicle. The man was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

The UIPD press release of the event also noted that the most recent arrest was made by a two-person extra patrol unit which the UIPD had added earlier in the semester to address a rise in gun violence occurring in off-campus areas of Campustown.

In an email, Patrick Wade, senior director of Strategic Communications for UIPD, said the extra patrol unit was a direct response to the gun violence seen at the beginning of the semester.

Wade said there’s advantages to this extra unit in deterring crime through police presence.

“Having an extra patrol car on the street allows us to be more proactive in preventing crime before it happens,” Wade said. “This extra patrol unit is not tasked with responding to calls for service (those are handled by our normal patrol staff), so it gives those officers extra time to do proactive policing.”

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