Metro-East News

Motorcyclist caught after chase; stun gun ‘not effective’ on him

William T. Burk
William T. Burk

An O’Fallon man has been charged with felony aggravated fleeing after police said he sped away on a motorcycle, ignored police commands, crashed and became “combative,” according to police.

The police said an officer had to use “minimum” force to arrest the 47-year-old motorcyclist.

Caseyville Police Department said one of its officers saw the motorcyclist, William T. Burk, following a vehicle too closely, failing to signal and speeding on Illinois 157 at around 2:45 p.m. Oct. 12. Police said Burk, 47, was riding a 1988 Honda motorcycle.

An officer activated his emergency lights and siren to try to stop the driver at Illinois 157 and Maple Avenue, but police said Burk kept driving until he reached Old Bunkum Road and North 89th Street. Police said Burk turned off his motorcycle after the officer asked him to do so three times.

Police said the officer also ordered Burk to drop his keys. Instead, police said, Burk took off as the officer approached. That’s when police said the officer used a Taser. Caseyville Police Chief Frank Moore said the officer was Patrolman Max Boyd.

“The reporting officer deployed his Taser which hit Burk on his back, but was not effective due to his padded motorcycle jacket,” Caseyville police wrote in a news release. “Officers pursued Burk as he recklessly disobeyed traffic signs and broke speed limits exceeding 30 miles per hour over the posted speed, weaving in and out of traffic with little to no regard for the safety of other motorists.”

Police said the motorcyclist continued north onto Illinois 157 and then east onto Hollywood Heights Road. Burk lost control of the motorcycle and crashed at Willow Wood Court, police said. Burk was not injured.

Caseyville police said the reporting officer pulled up and “ordered him to the ground at gunpoint,” but instead, police said, the man “threw down his helmet, shouted violent obscenities and became combative, kicking and swinging at the reporting officer.”

Moore said Boyd put his gun back into his holster after he saw that Burk was unarmed. The chief said the officer “used a minimum amount of force” to restrain Burk. Moore said the officer used his hands to knock Burk to the ground and waited until other units arrived. The arrest was recorded on dash-cam video, according to Moore.

Additional Caseyville officers as well as the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the crash scene. Burk was then arrested and placed on a 48-hour hold.

The case was reviewed by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly’s Office. Burk was charged with felony aggravated fleeing, resisting an officer, driving while his license was revoked and reckless driving. His bail was set at $75,000. The case is pending.

According to online court records, Burk faced a traffic charge for allegedly fleeing a police officer in St. Clair County on May 27. During that same month, he also was charged with misdemeanor DUI and felony aggravated fleeing in Fairview Heights. The felony charge from May was dismissed, records said. Both cases are also pending.

Kaitlyn Schwers: 618-239-2526, @kaitlynschwers