Cahokia man who escaped custody after pursuit is recaptured, jailed

A Cahokia man who was wanted by police in connection with a 2013 residential burglary faces additional charges after he twice attempted to escape police custody during a traffic stop Saturday in East St. Louis.

Demonte J. James, 20, and two other men were in a car that was pulled over near Broadway and 15th Street in East St. Louis shortly after 5:30 p.m. by members of the Metro East Police Assistance Team, a state police detail assigned to high-crime areas in the metro-east tasked with assisting local police to deter crime.

James was properly handcuffed and was seat belted in the front seat of an unmarked MEPAT cruiser because he gave officers a false name, according to Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye.

Dye said when the MEPAT officers learned James’ name, they also learned he was wanted in connection with the burglary. That’s when James managed to free himself from the seat belt, open the cruiser’s door and ran off.

“He ran through a vacant lot that contained the ruins of a torn-down building,” Dye said. James, who was shirtless, tripped and fell into a pile of bricks and suffered cuts to his head, chest, hands and back. Officers dispatched an ambulance and brought James back to the site of the traffic stop, but he ran off again.

Dye said additional MEPAT officers arrived, set up a perimeter and soon captured James. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment of minor cuts. He was then taken to the St. Clair County Jail.

James faces a misdemeanor obstruction charge for giving officers a false name and two felony charges for escaping and resisting arrest. Bond was set Monday at $75,000.

Contact reporter Tobias Wall at or 618-239-2501. Follow him on Twitter: @Wall_BND.