Police: Men forced way into apartment to escape officers

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Thomas Winters, 22 Thomas Winters, 22
Edwin Underwood, 22 Edwin Underwood, 22

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Two men are accused of breaking into someone’s apartment as police chased them.

A sworn statement from Decatur police says that after 4 p.m. Monday, officers tried to stop a silver Hyundai Tuscon. Officers say the driver was wanted on several warrants and had a history of failing to have a proper driver’s license.

They say the driver, identified as 22-year-old Thomas Winters, sped away when police tried to stop the car. When they tracked him to an apartment complex, police say they found he and a passenger in the car, 22-year-old Edwin Underwood, forced their way into a woman’s apartment at 3713 Portage Place.

Police say Underwood told them the two suspects “panicked” when they decided to enter the apartment, which also had a small child inside at the time.

The statement says a detective and K-9 officer Leeroy Jenkins waited outside as officers went in to confront Winters, who they say broke through a window to get away. They described his behavior at that point as “desperate to escape” and “dangerous”, saying he put his hands in the front pocket of a sweatshirt in front of police.

The K-9 ended up stopping Winters before police arrested him. Police arrested Underwood in the apartment.

Winters has past convictions for aggravated armed robbery, aggravated battery to police and resisting police on his record. Police say several of the warrants they wanted him on involved DUI cases.

Winters and Underwood are both in custody in Macon County. Winters’ bond is set at $50,000.

Both men face criminal trespassing charges, while Winters also faces counts for aggravated fleeing and resisting an officer.

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