VIDEO: Driver caught speeding attacks trooper to ‘avoid going to jail’
CHENOA, Ill. (WEEK/Gray News) - A state trooper in Illinois is recovering after being recently attacked by a driver during a traffic stop.
WEEK reports authorities released an 11-minute video that shows trooper Matthew Niehaus conducting a traffic stop involving a driver, later identified as Randy Turner, for speeding near Chenoa.
Turner was pulled over after Niehaus reported he was traveling 109 mph in a 70-mph zone.
In the video, Niehaus said to Turner that he wasn’t going to arrest him but would write him a ticket and call a tow truck since Turner’s license was expired.
“I’ll work with you,” Niehaus is heard saying in the video. “I even wrote your speed down a little bit so I wouldn’t have to take you to jail.”
Suddenly, Turner lunges at Niehaus and tackles the trooper, with the struggle lasting for about a minute, according to the video. Niehaus was hit in the face multiple times and then sprayed with his own pepper spray.
After radioing for help, a passerby stopped and came to Niehaus’ aid. Authorities said the passerby was armed and licensed to carry a concealed weapon.
Turner then tried to escape in the tow truck that was called to tow his vehicle, but he was eventually brought down and arrested.
According to a probable cause statement filed in court, Turner said in a recorded interview that he attacked the trooper because he didn’t want to go back to jail. He acknowledged he was told he wouldn’t go back to jail as part of the traffic stop but said: “things change.”
Investigators also said Turner told them he was trying to get the trooper’s gun because he wanted control of the situation.
Turner allegedly acknowledged if he had gotten the gun, he would’ve shot the trooper, probably in the leg. The probable cause statement continues with Turner saying he would’ve done whatever it took to escape.
Authorities said Turner is facing multiple charges stemming from the incident that includes disarming a police officer, aggravated battery and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
Turner’s bond was set as $2 million, with an arraignment scheduled for June 24.
Officials with the Illinois State Police said Niehaus was sent to the hospital but has since been released.
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