A man is in custody after he followed a police officer, almost struck another police officer with his car, and then eluded police in a chase in Antioch last week.
Police officials said that last Thursday an off-duty Antioch police officer was returning to Antioch from training while driving in a marked police vehicle at around 5:00 p.m.. The officer noticed that a silver vehicle appeared to be following him. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as David L. Larsen, 68, of the 39000 block of Lake Avenue in unincorporated Lake Villa, was witnessed by the officer flailing his arms about the vehicle, in what appeared to be an agitated state.
Authorities said that Larsen’s behavior continued to be highly erratic as he followed the officer through several turns. The officer pulled into the Antioch Police Department with Larsen following him into the main driveway.
The officer activated his emergency lights and stopped his squad car to talk with Larsen. Officials said that at that time Larsen then stopped his car, held his hand out of the window making a “universal handgun gesture” pointed in the officer’s direction, and mimicked the action of a gun discharging.
As the officer attempted to confront Larsen, he placed his car in gear and fled, nearly running over a second responding officer, before driving over the sidewalk. Antioch Police said they briefly pursued the vehicle, however the pursuit was quickly terminated to reduce the risk to the public. The officer who was nearly struck suffered minor injuries while leaping from the path of the vehicle, authorities said.
A short time later, another Antioch police officer located Larsen in his vehicle at the intersection of Main Street and Orchard Street. Police said that Larsen was again yelling aggressively at the police officers and making similar handgun gestures at them while shouting “bang”. During this encounter with Larsen, officers tased him through his open vehicle window, but officials said that he was able to overcome the effects of the Taser and once again fled.
“Due to Larsen’s dangerous and unpredictable driving behavior, officers did not pursue due to a large pedestrian presence in the area where a farmer’s market was taking place,” Antioch police said in a statement.
On Friday Antioch Police obtained an arrest warrant for Larsen. He was taken into custody at his home by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office a short time later. He’s currently being held at the Lake County Jail on a $75,000 bond.
Larsen has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer (Class 3 felony punishable by 2-5 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine), aggravated assault (Class 4 felony punishable by 1-3 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine), and two counts of aggravated fleeing a police officer (Class 4 felony each punishable by 1-3 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine).