By Howard Packowitz
BLOOMINGTON – The McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy who lost his life in Rockford Thursday morning while trying to arrest a man on various warrants, including one from McLean County, was remembered as a dedicated and hardworking officer.
McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said Deputy Jacob Keltner’s brother and father have worked in law enforcement. Prim said Keltner was hired almost 13 years ago, and volunteered to work on the U.S. Marshal’s task force.
“Comes from a long line of service. He’s a dedicated guy. He’s a dedicated family man, and he’s just truly going to be missed,” said the sheriff.
Keltner was shot as task force members tried to arrest Floyd Brown ,39, of Springfield, at a Rockford hotel.
Brown got away, but a trooper spotted him driving on Interstate 39, just north of Normal.
What followed was a chase lasting about a half-hour at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, ending on southbound Interstate 55 near Lincoln where police forced Brown’s vehicle into a ditch.
Police negotiated with Brown for about six hours. The SWAT team used flash-bangs, stun grenades that creates bright flashes and loud noises, to distract Brown, who gave up peacefully.
“It’s an inconvenience for a lot of people. This is a busy interstate, but at the end of the day, we took him into custody alive, and from our standpoint, that’s a success,” said Trooper Sean Ramsey.
Police blocked I-55 and Old Route 66 for several hours.
Authorities said Brown was treated at an area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Howard Packowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org