A man previously convicted of raping a minor in Kentucky was non-compliant with a sex offender registry and had active warrants against him when he allegedly injured a Champaign County deputy on Sunday evening.
According to information from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Christopher Blanton, age 37 of Kentucky, struck the deputy in the head with handcuffs affixed to him while deputies attempted to arrest Blanton on East Dallas Road. Blanton fled on foot and holed up in a nearby residence, causing a standoff that brought a full law enforcement response to the Urbana Township rural area. Travelers on U.S. Route 68 could see the dramatic developments from afar and the entrance to Dallas Road from Route 68 was blocked during the standoff.
Blanton was taken into custody after the standoff and transported to Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital before being booked on felonious assault charges at the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg.
Incident becomes a standoff
The series of events began to unfold at 5:30 p.m. Sunday when deputies responded to the 154 E. Dallas Road area to follow up on a complaint filed on Saturday. Upon arrival deputies observed Blanton flee the area on foot. Deputies learned Blanton was associated with the residence of 174 E. Dallas Road. According to information from the sheriff’s office, residents at that address are his relatives and had been harboring Blanton – a known fugitive – while he worked on their vehicles.
While walking to the field north of the Dallas Road residences, deputies observed Blanton exit from underneath a camper at 154 E. Dallas Road. Blanton once again fled the area and deputies continued checking for him due to his suspicious behavior. Deputies observed one of the camper doors was unlatched and obtained consent from the property owner to check inside the camper. Upon entering the camper, deputies located and detained Blanton. When asked for identification by deputies, Blanton refused to provide it.
A patrol vehicle was brought to the camper location and deputies began to check Blanton for weapons, during which time Blanton allegedly struck a deputy over the head with the handcuffs affixed to him. Blanton then fled again on foot and deputies pursued him toward the 174 E. Dallas Road residence, tasing him twice. Blanton pulled the taser probes from his body and retreated into the residence where he had been harbored. The occupants of the residence informed deputies that Blanton had acquired a handgun and was inside, causing a standoff to ensue.
After an extended period of time, Blanton was apprehended and taken into custody. No one else had been charged as of press time, according to information from the sheriff’s office.
Blanton is charged with felonious assault, a first-degree felony, according to the Champaign County Municipal Court’s website. The website also states Blanton appeared in court for an arraignment hearing Monday during which his bond was set at $25,000.
A preliminary hearing in his case is scheduled for Thursday
Brenda Burns can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Urbana Daily Citizen staffer Nick Walton contributed to this story.