Standoff closes US 51 near Heyworth

Police blocked U.S. Route 51 south of Heyworth Friday night as they arrested a man suspected of aggravated kidnapping. (Photo courtesy WEEK)

By WEEK News

HEYWORTH – Illinois State Police arrested a man who barricaded himself inside a semi for hours south of Heyworth. The subject was wanted for aggravated kidnapping in the Chicago area.

Police blocked the northbound lanes of U.S. Route 51 for several hours until they arrested the man before 11 p.m.

“The suspect stopped here and for whatever reason his vehicle got stuck and he barricaded himself in the truck,” Cpt. Louis Kink with ISP said. He said the truck’s tires also caught fire.

Kink says the decision was made to force their way into the semi after they had not heard from the suspect for several hours.

“With his vehicle being stopped and it would not start it makes it easier for us because there’s not a pursuit involved,” he said. “Our main concern after not hearing from him after a couple of hours was to make sure he’s still alright. So we busted a window and put pepper spray in there and that’s when we heard from him.”

The alleged kidnapping victim was not with the suspect, who was taken to a nearby hospital to treat the pepper spray.

U.S. Route 51 is now re-opened.


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…