Metro-East News

Man charged with attempting to disarm police officer

Kenneth Whitson
Kenneth Whitson

The St. Clair County State’s Attorney Office pressed charges Wednesday against a 62-year-old Missouri man for attempting to disarm an O’Fallon police officer during an altercation.

Kenneth Whitson of Tipton, Mo., faces two Class 2 felonies for allegedly attempting to disarm a peace officer and aggravated battery to a peace officer as well as two Class 4 felonies alleging resisting a peace officer and retail theft.

These charges are in connection to a confrontation Feb. 21 at Aldi’s, at 1635 West Highway 50 in O’Fallon.

According to a news release, store employees called police when they recognized Whitson as someone who has allegedly committed numerous thefts at the store. An officer witnessed Whitson trying to steal something from the store and attempted to arrest him.

The release stated Whitson resisted arrest and tried several times to disarm the officer.

“During the struggle, two concerned citizens provided assistance to the officer in successfully subduing Whitson,” the release stated.

The unidentified officer was not injured. Whitson was taken to a hospital for pre-existing medical conditions. He was later booked in the St. Clair County Jail where he remains on a $50,000 bond.

The O’Fallon Police Department stated Whitson has an extensive criminal history including felony convictions and currently being on parole. He has served multiple years at the Illinois Department of Corrections for burglary, theft and aggravated battery.