A convicted Pekin meth dealer reached for a handgun in his jacket as he tried to run from a police officer who was about to arrest him early Friday, charges allege.
Joshua Dupage, 44, also had 84 prescription pills, three bags of meth, other drug-related items and $1,603 in his pockets, according to a prosecutor’s court affidavit that accompanied Class X charges against him.
Asked by the officer what he was trying to get from his jacket pocket as he ran, Dupage replied, “A gun,” the affidavit stated. The .22-caliber pistol contained a round in its chamber and five more in its magazine.
He was ordered held on $750,000 bond on charges of possessing meth with intent to deliver, armed violence and possessing a firearm as a felon.
Dupage had been free on bond in two pending drug cases when the officer stopped him in the 300 block of Derby Street. He had been scheduled for a pre-trial court appearance on those cases later Friday.
At least one of them carries up to 30 years in prison as the result of Dupage’s previous convictions. He’s served two prison terms of 8 years and one of 4 for meth manufacturing and burglary.
The officer stopped Dupage after encountering him to check if he was wanted on any warrants. Learning a warrant in a drug case awaited him in Peoria County, the officer detained him while waiting for a backup officer to help in the arrest “for safety purposes,” the affidavit stated.
The officer considered that help necessary, and did not immediately try to handcuff Dupage, because Dupage appeared “very nervous” and kept putting his hands in his pockets despite the officer’s orders not to. Dupage also kept putting his hand to his jacket “as though he was holding something in place” in its pocket, the affidavit stated.
When the officer told Dupage he was not free to leave, Dupage “turned and began to run while putting his hand in his jacket pocket,” the affidavit stated.
The officer grabbed Dupage by his jacket, took him to the ground and handcuffed him. Dupage never pulled the weapon from his pocket, the affidavit stated.
He’s scheduled to next appear in court March 8 on his latest charges and his previous cases.