Man pleads not guilty to assault, menacing charges


An Urbana man indicted for allegedly assaulting law enforcement pleaded not guilty this week.

Michael A. Dean, 33, pleaded not guilty to one count each of aggravated menacing, assault, resisting arrest and felonious assault with a notice of prior conviction specification and repeat violent offender specification during an arraignment hearing on Monday.

According to information from Urbana Police Lt. Seth King, on Dec. 21, 2016, Urbana Police were dispatched to the Dollar General, 224 Patrick Ave., to speak with store personnel about a customer causing a disturbance in the store. As the customer was leaving, he reportedly threatened to return to the store to shoot employees and blow up the store.

Officers determined by viewing store video the customer was Dean. They then went to Dean’s residence to locate him.

Dean met with Sgt. Chris Snyder and Officer Steve Molton at the door, but refused to allow them inside the house. He returned to the door with a relative who allowed the officers inside.

Based on their investigation and an order from Dean’s parole officer, Snyder and Molton made the determination to arrest Dean. In the process of arresting Dean, he turned and punched Molton in the face and ran into a bedroom.

Dean immediately ran from the bedroom, holding a hammer over his head and charged at Snyder and Molton, police said. Officers gave Dean numerous commands to drop the hammer which he eventually threw at Molton, striking him in the chest.

Snyder, Molton and Officer Mike Hughes subdued Dean and arrest him.

The grand jury indictment states Dean was convicted of or pleaded guilty to felonious assault, a second degree felony, in October 2006.

His bond was set at $100,000 on Jan. 6.

Driver who struck police vehicles pleads not guilty

A man who led law enforcement on a chase through Clark and Champaign counties pleaded not guilty to the charges against him this week.

On Tuesday, Eric J. Turner, 46, pleaded not guilty to one count each of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, vandalism, receiving stolen property, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse or a combination of them and aggravated possession of drugs.

Turner was pulled over on Jan. 1 by a trooper on patrol in Springfield for traveling 51 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. As the trooper explained why he pulled the vehicle over, Turner put the vehicle in gear speeding off when asked for identification.

The pursuit eventually ended in Champaign County but not before Turner’s vehicle swerved striking the front fender of a cruiser when stop sticks were deployed on state Route 72 near Moorefield Road and rammed another cruiser three times in the area of South Edgewood Avenue and Muzzy Road.

Turner is currently on community control stemming from a 2015 theft case in Champaign County. He was placed on community control for a period of two years in November 2015 and was returned to community control under the same conditions in September 2016 following a hearing on community control violations.

According to court documents, a status hearing on the merits of the community control violations is scheduled for Jan. 18 along with a case scheduling conference for the current case.


By Nick Walton

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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