NORMAL - A 27-year -old Bloomington man sped through Normal Friday night at speeds of up to 75 mph, blew through several stop signs and lights, and drove his minivan through yards and parking lots before being stopped by a police officer's stun gun, police said Saturday.
Police issued Robert Collett 25 citations with charges including driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving. The McLean County state's attorney's office did not release information Saturday on whether Collett had been formally charged.
The incident began shortly after 8 p.m. when drivers on Interstate 55 reported a southbound minivan traveling up to 100 mph and passing motorists on the shoulder near Towanda. The minivan exited the interstate onto Veterans Parkway in Normal.
Sgt. Kevin Henderson said officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Veterans Parkway, but the driver fled.
"When he pulled away from the first officer, we backed off," said Henderson.
The driver went west on Fort Jesse Road/Willow Street and then south on Main Street.
Officers thought the incident would conclude when the driver stopped for a red light at Main and Bowles Street. Henderson said he exited his squad car and approached the suspect with his gun drawn.
Collett, who was talking on a cell phone, backed into another squad car and then raced down Bowles, Henderson said. At that point officers turned on lights and sirens and pursued him, he said.
Police never exceeded about 50 mph despite the Collett's high speed, Henderson said. About six squad cars were involved at one point.
Collett ended up driving through parking lots and backyards of several apartment buildings before blowing a tire and stopping at Larry Court, a cul-de-sac. He ran but officers caught him behind an apartment building, Henderson said.
"When he exited his vehicle, he had an unknown object in his hand. When he turned back toward us, he was Tased," said Henderson.
The object ended up being a cell phone.
Collett, who initially was thought to have been from Normal, was in custody by 8:10 p.m., police said.
He remained jailed Saturday night in lieu of posting $300.