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Chase ends in arrest of suspect in gang-related activity

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HOMER — A man wanted by local authorities for his alleged gang-related activity has been charged with fleeing from police and possessing cocaine.

Qwantrell Ayers, 28, who listed addresses in Springfield and on South Dodson Drive in Urbana, was injured Sunday night when he lost control of the car he was driving at dangerously high speeds south of Homer. Two women in the car with him were thrown from the vehicle and also injured.

On Thursday, local police released a list of men wanted for various reasons, including probation and parole violations and new crimes. Ayers was among them.

Champaign County Sheriff’s Lt. Curt Apperson said about 10:20 p.m. Sunday, a deputy on patrol south of Ogden on Illinois 49 clocked a vehicle doing 70 mph in a 55 mph zone.

The deputy activated his lights to pull the car over but it sped up to about 80 and refused to stop.

Apperson said the pursuit lasted about an hour.

“Ultimately, as deputies were losing sight and not able to keep pace with him, the vehicle crashed as it was southbound on Illinois 49 at County Road 620 N,” Apperson said. “The car hit a ditch and culvert, the vehicle launched and rolled over several times.”

Two adult women in the car with Ayers were ejected while he was pinned in the car and had to be freed by Homer firefighters and other first responders.

All three were taken to Carle Foundation Hospital for treatment of what Apperson said were non-life-threatening injuries.

Apperson said Ayers sustained a leg injury and was released early Monday and taken to the county jail. Apperson did not have updated information on the condition of the women, whose names he declined to release.

Apperson said Ayers was wanted on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance, resisting a peace officer, and aggravated driving under the influence with a $5,000 bond. That stemmed from an October 2017 case. At the time of his arrest Sunday, he had a little over 2 grams of cocaine on him.

On Tuesday, the state’s attorney’s office filed new charges of aggravated fleeing from police at more than 20 miles over the speed limit and possession of a controlled substance, both Class 4 felonies.

Champaign County court records show Ayers has previous convictions for aggravated robbery, aggravated battery and defacing identification marks on a gun.

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