Feik in jail for fleeing sheriff, having gun

“Bag bandit” off to “boot camp” after three probation chances

By Jim Nowlan
[email protected]

James Feik, 32, of Toulon, is in Stark County jail following court action Friday in which Feik was charged with “aggravated fleeing” to elude a police officer as well as possession of a revoked firearm owner’s ID card.


According to the criminal complaints filed in court, on Wednesday, March 29 Feik drove through Toulon on Route 17 at a high rate of speed, failing to stop even though chased by Sheriff Steve Sloan and Deputy Gary Bent, squad car lights flashing.

Feik continued to the gravel road a mile south of Catalpa Grove Bar & Grill, where he stopped.

Sloan and Bent found a .22 caliber rifle and nine rounds of ammunition in Feik’s possession, even though Feik’s firearm owner’s identification card had been revoked in 2015.

State’s Attorney James Owens told Judge Thomas Keith that Feik had a prior conviction for criminal damage to property in 2002 and a history of mental health issues.

Owens requested a bond of $150,000 (10 percent payable to get out of jail), which Keith granted.

According to listeners to the police scanner radio, during the chase there was a three-way conversation among Feik, who was talking with the sheriff’s dispatchers by telephone, and the sheriff and deputy, who were talking with the same dispatchers by police radio. At one point Feik apparently told the dispatchers, for the sheriff and deputy to “go ahead and shoot me.” Eventually, Feik threw the gun out the window and exited the truck as advised by the Sheriff and relayed by the dispatchers.

In a press release, Sheriff Sloan said, “Sgt. Lucas and Deputy Chamberlain did a fantastic job on what could have turned into a very ugly situation.” In that same press release, the Sheriff also thanked Wyoming Police officer Alex Ingle for assisting at the scene.

Through Public Defender Robert McBride, Feik waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charges.

A case management conference was scheduled for April 7, with a trial set for June 5. Feik pled not guilty.

“Bag bandit” back in court

In 2013, Joshua Allen Williams, formerly of Toulon, put a plastic grocery bag over his head and entered the State Bank of Toulon, demanding cash, without success. (Later that same day, Williams returned to the bank to apologize.)
Williams had been placed on probation for a third time by the Stark County Court. He was back in court this past Friday to respond to complaints that he had violated probation by failing to keep probation officers apprised of his whereabouts.

Recently, Williams has been in the custody of Mason County authorities, where he was convicted on drug charges.

State’s Attorney Owens and public defender McBride agreed to adopt, or “mirror,” the sentence handed down recently in Mason County Court. In the county, Williams received four years in state prison, or the successful completion of a six to eight month “boot camp” rehabilitation program conducted by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

In other words, if Williams successfully completes his boot camp regimen, his four-year sentence will be dropped. If he fails to do so successfully, Williams will have to serve the full four years in prison and not be eligible for any “good time” credit.

Feik attempted to drive down a dirt road south of Pitzer’s Curve and his truck became stuck in the mud.


PRESS RELEASE

By Jason Musselman
[email protected]

Late last week a press release provided more information on a tense situation involving a man with a gun on Wednesday, March 29. The News first broke the story as it happened Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Initially the Stark County Sheriff’s Office received a call on Wednesday, March 29 at 3:17 p.m. from a male subject stating “there is a guy with a loaded gun and he wants to meet the cops in the middle of Toulon,” the very detailed press release stated.

The caller advised Deputy Julie Chamberlain the man with the gun was James Feik, talking in third person and later identifying himself as Feik as well. Chamberlain advised Sheriff Steve V. Sloan, who was able to initiate a traffic stop on W. Court St. in Toulon, just west of the Courthouse. Feik, 32, of Toulon, then began spinning his tires and drove away in a black Chevy S-10 truck when Sloan activated his emergency lights.

The press release states Feik achieved a high rate of speed on Rt. 17 after making several turns through Toulon.

While eastbound on Rt. 17, Deputy Gary Bent joined the pursuit.

Feik then attempted to travel down a mud road that extends south of what is known as Pitzer’s Curve, or 800E and 700N. Feik’s vehicle then became stuck in the mud road and the subject was forced to stop.

Another call was then made by Feik to the Stark County Sheriff’s Office from Feik at which point he told dispatchers to “tell the cops to kill him.” At dispatch, Sgt. Stephen Lucas was able to convince the subject to throw his gun out the window and get out of the truck with his hands up at the commands of Sheriff Sloan. The gun was a .22 caliber rifle.

Feik cooperated and walked backward toward the officers before being commanded to lie on the ground and Deputy Bent arrested him at 3:34 p.m., the statement says.

“I just want to say Sgt. Stephen Lucas and Deputy Julie Chamberlain did a fantastic job that could of turned in to a very ugly situation,” Sheriff Sloan said. “I’d like to thank Wyoming Police Officer Alex Ingle for his help,” he continued. Ingle responded from Wyoming to aid during the tense moments the subject was still in the truck with the gun. After Feik’s arrest, Sheriff Sloan and Ingle recovered the gun.

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