This news release provides an update to the October 28, 2017 incident, in which a Champaign Police Officer fired his weapon while investigating a reported Assault and Robbery that occurred in the 1300 Block of Hanover Drive. The involved officer is identified as Officer Edward Sebestik, a 5-year veteran of the Champaign Police Department.
Officer Sebestik, along with other officers, responded to a Robbery and met with the victim, a 19-year-old Danville woman, who told officers she had been assaulted and robbed of money. A nearby home was identified as the location where the suspects reportedly fled, and Officer Sebestik knocked on the door of the home in an attempt to contact a resident. As the door opened, Sebestik was met by 23-year-old Nathan Smalls of Danville, who possessed a handgun in the front waistband of his pants. Smalls had one hand grasped on the firearm, prompting Officer Sebestik to demand Smalls to raise his hands. When Smalls failed to comply, Sebestik fired his duty weapon.
As Officer Sebestik fired his weapon, Smalls closed the entry door of the residence. Police maintained a perimeter around the home and ordered all occupants to exit the home. It was determined that none of the occupants or officers sustained any injury; however, Smalls was transported to the hospital for a pre-existing medical condition. Champaign Police SWAT was utilized to ensure the residence was safe, and Police later served a court-authorized search warrant at the residence, resulting in the recovery of several items of evidentiary interest.
Preliminary investigative findings of this incident were presented to the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office, who found probable cause to issue arrest warrants for two of the occupants of the home that evening. On November 2, an arrest warrant was issued for Smalls in the amount of $20,000 for the offense of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. A second arrest warrant was issued for the resident of the home, 21-year-old Chase Chenoweth, in the amount of $10,000 for the offense of Unlawful Possession with Intent to Deliver Cannabis.
Chenoweth surrendered to Police on November 3; and yesterday afternoon, Champaign Police arrested Smalls in Chicago, transporting him to the Champaign County Correctional Center.
Following the weapons discharge, Officer Sebestik was placed on Administrative Leave, per Department policy. Preliminary evidence of the incident was presented to State’s Attorney Julia Rietz, who ruled that criminal charges will not be filed in regards to Officer Sebestik’s actions. Sebestik returned to patrol duty on November 7.
This investigation is on-going and Police continue to investigate the initial claims of the Assault and Robbery. An internal investigation will be conducted for the officer weapon discharge, as outlined within Department Policy 1.5: Firearms Discharge Investigation and Review.
Related News Release:
Police Investigate Weapon Discharge Following Response to Assault & Robbery