CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–
“Hopefully they can keep him away from her,” Caleb Ternent, witness, said.
This is after police say a man hit a woman with his car on purpose. Then got out to beat her. Police say that driver was trying to hit two people, but one was hurt.
Stephen Booker was taken into custody. This happened on Joanne Lane and Paula Drive in Champaign around 3:00 p.m. today.
Caleb Ternent says he saw a car driving wildly down the road. He said it happened so fast, but is thankful police were called at the right time.
“We were inside in our kitchen here and my fiancé pointed to a car driving down crazy and then we heard a crash,” Ternent said.
Champaign Police say a man was arrested after intentionally attempting to hit two women with his car.
“There’s wood scattered everywhere. Someone was laying there hurt. I didn’t know who that was,” Ternent said.
50- year old Stephen Booker left the road and hit one of the women with his car.
“The driver came back up and said something to me. I’m not really sure what he said then he tried to go pick her up,” Ternent said.
Booker crashed his car into a neighbor’s fence. Police and witnesses say he then got out of the car and proceeded to beat the woman.
“Then he got on top of her. I couldn’t tell at first if he was trying to hurt her or something I thought he was trying to administer medical aid, but it seems like his intentions were a little more nefarious after that,” Ternent said.
Police attempted to stop Booker when he ran away. Police chased him and he was taken into custody.
“I hope that she’s alright and whatever’s going on between them they can keep him away from her,” Ternent said.
The woman he hit was seriously hurt and was taken to the hospital. The other woman made it out okay. Booker was arrested on preliminary charges of aggravated battery and aggravated domestic battery.
“Its sad and tragic that it happened, but we need to also think about bettering the neighborhoods and protecting our citizens,” Chad Smith said.
Chad Smith, president of the Garden Hills Neighborhood Association, says something needs to be done to end the violence in the city.
“We’re so far into this that its going to take a while to actually correct some of this behavior,” Smith said.
Its also a growing concern for people living there.
“The lady down the street like her kids are always in that pool right by us and like he could’ve easily swerved and not hit that fence and hit them or he could’ve easily gone the other way into our house,” Ternent said.
Records show Booker has been in sheriff or police custody dozens of times since 1988. His most recent was 5 days ago for possession of a controlled substance.
Champaign Police arrested a 50-year-old Champaign man after he was accused of hitting someone with his vehicle on Monday afternoon.
In a news release, police officials said officers were called to the 1700 block of Paula Drive for a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle. When they got there, police learned a man “intentionally left the roadway in an attempt to strike two females.” One woman was able to get out of the way, but the other was hit. She had life-threatening injuries, according to police.
Officers’ preliminary investigation indicated 50-year-old Stephen Booker targeted the women before wrecking his vehicle nearby. “After crashing the vehicle, the suspect returned to the scene and began battering the seriously injured female who was lying on the ground.” Police confronted the man while he continued to try to hurt the woman. He ran away from the officers shortly before being arrested.
Booker was taken to the Champaign County Satellite Jail on preliminary charges of aggravated battery and aggravated domestic battery.
Champaign Police are continuing to investigate this crime. If you have any information, call police at (217) 351-4545. You can also call Crime Stoppers at (217) 373-8477.