Spokesman Chris Young and Illinois State Police said the officer had attempted a traffic stop during a fishing license compliance check at a boat ramp parking lot when the suspect, identified as Jason R. Jenkins, put his car in reverse and stepped on the gas. The driver’s open door struck the officer, knocking him to the ground. Young said the suspect, Jenkins, then drove off. Jenkins was driving a white 2012 Mazda.
According to Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye Jr., a few minutes after the radio call reporting the incident was broadcast, a trooper stationed at Illinois 16 and I-55 in Litchfield observed the fleeing Mazda get onto the interstate. Dye said the driver, Jenkins, is a 32-year-old Florissant, Mo., man with a revoked driver’s license.
During the ensuing chase, Dye said the car struck stop sticks twice.
Despite the stop sticks, the driver of the Mazda continued all the way to the West Florissant Avenue exit in the suspect’s hometown. The vehicle finally gave out in an Aldi parking lot on Dunn Road after striking two vehicles, one of which was occupied.
Dye said the driver then fled on foot but was apprehended without further incident by local police around 11:45 a.m. Jenkins was apprehended shortly afterward without incident, according to state police. No injuries were sustained in the crashes.
A press release issued by state police late Monday says criminal charges against Jenkins are currently being applied through multiple jurisdictions. Police say the conservation officer was transported to a Litchfield area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The case remains under investigation by the state police.
Dye said the prolonged chase created “a high stress level” for the officers involved.
“It was phenomenal that no one was injured throughout the chase. It was a great job by police all the way around,” he said.