A Pekin man led police on a high-speed chase in which he pointed a handgun at a squad car before his vehicle struck a truck, charges allege.
Brian Bearce, 37, has been held without bond since the July 21 incident, the second time since April that police reportedly chased him at high speeds through the city.
Bearce pleaded not guilty Thursday to being an armed habitual criminal, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, as well as aggravated assault of a police officer and aggravated fleeing from police.
While he fired no shots, Bearce allegedly pointed a handgun at a pursuing Tazewell County sheriff’s deputy from his car’s sunroof after racing away as the deputy sought to stop him for a traffic offense on South 14th Street.
Reaching speeds up to 80 mph, Bearce fled down Derby Street before his vehicle struck a truck, causing minor injuries to its two occupants, court records stated. As the deputy and other officers approached his crashed car, he pointed the handgun at his head and fled on foot.
The officers found him hiding under a bush in a nearby backyard. They subdued him with a Taser and a non-lethal shotgun, and recovered the gun. Bearce also was wearing a shoulder holster under his shirt that contained a loaded firearm magazine, records stated.
He had been sought since early June after failing to appear in court on charges stemming from a chase on April 24 after a reported domestic battery incident.
Bearce has two prior convictions in 2003-04 of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and one of aggravated fleeing from police, records stated. He’s next due in court on Sept. 19.