Black Friday-related shooting: Cop dragged, driver shot

Bond set for men charged in Black Friday-related Kohl's shooting

Posted: Updated:
Robert J. Russell Robert J. Russell
Gerald Chamberlain Jr. Gerald Chamberlain Jr.
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Bond was set Saturday for two men accused of dragging a police officer with their getaway car after an alleged Thanksgiving night shoplifting attempt at a Romeoville Kohl's.

Robert L. Russell Jr., 51, is being held in lieu of $400,000 bond. The Joliet man faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery and retail theft.

Gerald Chamberlain, 28, also of Joliet, is being held in lieu of $100,000. He faces a charge of retail theft.

Police received a call from store security about shoplifters about 10:10 p.m. Thursday, according to a statement from Romeoville police.

Two officers arrived on the scene and confronted Russell, who was trying to flee the store, located at 261 S. Weber Road. The officers chased Russell, who jumped into the passenger seat of a Pontiac Sunfire, police said.

One of the officers caught up to the car on foot, and while the officer attempted to arrest Russell, of the 500 block of Francis Street in Joliet, he closed the car door on the officer's arm, police said.

The officer's arm was still stuck in the car's door when the driver pulled away, dragging the officer, police said.

His backup officer ordered the driver to stop, but the car kept moving. The backup officer fired three or four shots into the car, hitting the driver in the left arm, police said.

The officer who was dragged suffered a non-life-threatening shoulder injury and was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital in Bolingbrook, police said.

The driver, 52-year-old Charles Hinch, of the 400 block of Pico Street in Joliet, was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital in Bolingbrook with one gunshot wound, and later transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, police said.

Russell and Hinch were both arrested, police said. A third man who was apprehended while still inside the store, Chamberlain, of the 1300 block of Englewood Avenue in Joliet, was also arrested in connection with the incident.

Jail records indicate Russell spent three months behind bars after a shoplifting arrest by Crest Hill police in 2009.

Chamberlain was arrested in May on drug possession charges and is already scheduled to appear in court Dec. 23 on traffic charges.

Hinch remains hospitalized, according to reports. He was released on parole from the Dixon Correctional Center for a 2011 conviction of drug possession in Will County.

The Department of Corrections reports since 1986 Hinch has done eight previous prison stretches for burglary, shoplifting, drug dealing and forgery in Will and Cook counties.

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