Rockford Police arrest 4 in first night of ‘violent crime reduction’ patrols

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Following a surge in gun violence in Rockford, the police department says they arrested 4 people on the first night of “Violent Crime Reduction Patrols” on Thursday.

Deaundre Cooper, Aaron English, Sontonio Sanchez, Johnny Washington. Photo: Rockford Police Department

At 7 p.m., police say they attempted to stop a car in the area of Corbin and Montague but the car fled. The car was later found near the 2800 block of S. Springfield Avenue with four people inside. During a search of the car, a loaded gun was found.

Two people were charged: Sontonio Sanchez, 20, with Aggravated Fleeing and various traffic charges, and Deaundre Cooper, 20, for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Armed Violence, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

At 7:45 p.m., officers tried to stop a car near Ridge and Custer, but the car fled from police. Spike strips disabled the car near N. Main and Elmwood, where 24-year-old Aaron English was arrested and charged with Aggravated Fleeing, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Domestic Warrant, and various traffic charges.

At 11:55 p.m.,, officers say they attempted to stop a car with tinted windows in the 600 block of E. State Street. During a search of the vehicle, police say they recovered a gun which had been reported stolen. The owner of the car was cited for the window tint and released.

But, police arrested Johnny Washington, 30, for Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Cannabis Possession.

Police say they also broke up a house party with over 20 “hostile occupants,” and traffic stops on suspects that had outstanding warrants and had fled from police, but were found and their vehicles impounded later.

The Violent Crime Reduction Patrol is part of a renewed effort to curb a rash of shootings and murders in the city within the last few months.

“Violence has jumped off in the last month and a half,” Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said at a Thursday press conference. “To say it’s disheartening doesn’t do it justice. It’s very aggravating. We are going into active aggressive mode to find these individuals and put them in prison where we belong.”

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