Minor traffic stop becomes serious as couple flees police

News-DemocratJuly 17, 2014 

A minor traffic stop turned serious Wednesday when a couple fled from a Caseyville police officer.

According to police reports, at just before noon an officer attempted to stop a vehicle for a minor traffic violation on Illinois 157 at St. Clair Avenue. As the car came to a stop, the officer noticed the male driver change places with his female passenger.

It was determined during the stop that the man, Bryan A. Hibbler, 20, of the 1300 block of North 44th Street in East St. Louis, was driving without a valid license. As the officer attempted to arrest Hibbler, the woman, Joy R. Hawthorne, 26, of the 1400 block of Gay Avenue in East St. Louis, slipped the car into gear and fled.

The officer briefly chased the couple on St. Clair Avenue but had to break off the pursuit because of safety reasons. At about 4 p.m. the couple was located in East St. Louis. Hibbler was captured after a foot pursuit, according to police, while Hawthorne fled in a car. She later turned herself into police in Caseyville.

Hawthorne was charged by the St. Clair County State's Attorney's office with aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, a class 4 felony. She is being held in the St. Clair County Jail on $25,000 bail.

Hibbler was ticketed for several traffic violations and was charged with resisting a police officer and driving without a license, both misdemeanors. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.

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