Sparta Men Charged with Shooting at Officer
By: Arnold Wyrick
Sparta, IL - The long holiday weekend ended for two Sparta men after a massive search by SWAT teams and police. The troubles began late Sunday evening, when Officer Ralph Jones Jr.... says someone shot at him in his squad car.
"The Sparta officer was on routine patrol when he took fire upon his car. He gave chase to two individuals, that they did not catch," says Illinois State Police Investigator Master Sergeant Stanton Diggs.
So, police used another tactic in tracking down the suspects. They executed 'No Knock' warrants on five homes in the Sparta area.
"Anytime a judge in this state signs a 'No Knock' warrant, that's the most extensive search warrant. That means that police have the authority to knock the door down, and go in and apprehend those individuals," Diggs said.
But, some residents in Sparta say police took their search too far, and used excessive force in tracking down 30 year old Cortez Nesbitt, and 22 year old Terrance Nesbitt.
"They used the big green ram rod and smashed it into my door, breaking the door jam. And then they came in and just started turning everything inside my home upside down. My 11 year old boy came riding up on his bicycle, they had their guns in his face and the dogs over him. And they made him get to the ground. They had their guns on us all the time," says Angela Brooks.
" I couldn't lay in the position I wanted to in order to not hurt myself, because I'm pregnant. And I was thinking if I moved they could've shot me, because the way they was so anxious to put the guns on us," says Roshanda Nesbitt.
But Master Sergeant Diggs says the officers used the force they felt necessary to protect themselves, and the public while searching homes for the two suspects.
"We were looking for two individuals that tried to kill a police officer. And then, when that wasn't successful they went and attacked his family, who were sleeping in their home. So, we used the force we felt was necessary at the time," Diggs said.
One of the suspects girlfriends questioned whether or not police really do have the men responsible for the shooting.
"We was together the whole night. There's no way that they could've done anything. And when that supposedly happened we weren't even in town. Me, Terrance, and Dee were in Coulterville," says Sarah Maes.