State Briefs 4/16/08

Village trustee accused of threatening AT&T worker

MACHESNEY PARK – A village trustee could face up to 30 days in jail and $1,500 in fines after he allegedly threatened an AT&T line worker this weekend.

The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office approved an arrest warrant for Stanley Wentland, who represents the village’s fourth district, on disorderly conduct charges today.

Winnebago County Police Lt. Rocco Wagner said Wentland made arrangements to turn himself in by tonight.

Wagner said the incident between Wentland, 48, and the 38-year-old AT&T worker – who was not named because he has not been charged in the case – began about 12:30 p.m. Saturday when the worker was finishing a job in front of Wentland’s home.

“He was pulling away and Mr. Wentland apparently ran out after him, yelling and pounding on (the worker’s) van,” Wagner said.

Wentland was apparently angry that the worker’s van was on the curb in front of his home, Wagner said, adding that a curb is a public right-of-way and “that’s where they are supposed to park to do their work.”

Wagner said the worker drove to his next stop when he saw Wentland – who was in his own van – driving up.

Wentland apparently stopped the van and the AT&T worker returned the favor by pounding on Wentland’s vehicle, Wagner said. Wentland then hit the worker with his vehicle, according to Wagner.

Wagner said Wentland was charged with disorderly conduct because of the initial confrontation in front of Wentland’s home because Wentland’s actions caused the worker to “become disturbed and alarmed” at the trustee’s behavior.

The allegation is a Class C misdemeanor. The charge does not affect Wentland’s trustee position.

Rockford Register Star

Six-year-old pianist will receive ASCAP award

ROCKFORD – Six-year-old pianist Emily Bear will receive the 2008 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award on May 22 at the Ninth Annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards at the Times Center in New York.

Emily, of Rockford, appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” three times late last year and early this year, and she played piano last month at the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll.

“The Morton Gould Awards recognize and encourage talented young creators of concert music,” ASCAP Foundation President Marilyn Bergman said. “We congratulate the gifted young composer winners who were selected from nearly 600 submissions by our dedicated ASCAP judges. These talented young people represent the bright future of American concert music.”

The ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Awards program grants cash prizes to young composers whose works are selected through a juried national competition.

Rockford Register Star

Man accused of parking lot shooting pleads not guilty

GALESBURG – A man accused of a shooting in a parking lot pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in Knox County Circuit Court Wednesday.

Freddie Collins, 36, also demanded a jury trial. Collins is accused of the Dec. 21, 2004, shooting of Jonas Ross III, 27, in the parking lot of the former Wal-Mart on National Boulevard. He faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Collins was arrested by the FBI on March 3 in Chicago for possession of a fake California driver’s license and a fake Social Security card. Named as a suspect since early in the investigation, Collins remained at large for nearly four years.

Ross was shot seven times during the incident. Police said the shooting was retaliation for Ross robbing Collins.

Collins is in the Knox County Jail on $1 million bond.

Galesburg Register-Mail

Grandfather, 74, allegedly robbed by grandson

PEORIA - A man was arrested Sunday for allegedly robbing his 74-year-old grandfather.

The victim, Robert Roberts, told police his grandson, Sundown F.E. Hamlet Jr., 33, broke into his home about 6 p.m. through a window, according to police reports.

Hamlet demanded money from his grandfather, who denied having any. The grandson then forced him down, taking his wallet that contained $100.

Hamlet was later arrested and charged with two counts of criminal trespass to a residence, aggravated battery to a senior citizen, home invasion and robbery.

Journal Star, Peoria

Man, boy arrested after making threats with gun

GALESBURG – A man and a juvenile boy were arrested on weapons charges after threatening another man and a woman with a gun.

According to police reports, a man was driving near North and Madison streets at about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday when he heard several subjects yelling at him from the east side of the road. He stopped and asked what the subjects wanted.

One subject, later identified as a 14-year-old Galesburg boy, pulled a black semi-automatic pistol from his waistband and said “you wanna feel the heat.” The boy pointed the gun at the victim and pulled the trigger but the gun did not fire. The victim went to a woman’s house then called police.

The woman told police she left her residence after hearing about the incident and saw the suspects walking on Main St. As she approached the subjects, a man later identified as Nathan J. Nicholson, 19, of Galesburg, pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it in her face.

Nicholson and the juvenile male denied having a gun or confrontation with the victims.

Nicholson was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a weapon by a felon and aggravated assault. The juvenile was charged with unlawful use of a weapon.

Galesburg Register-Mail