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Daily Journal
March 23, 2023
#67-82 KDJ
Police check the 1999 Honda Accord that they say Jarvis Postlewaite, 37, of Aurora, used to rob a gas station at gunpoint Wednesday in Pontiac.

Kankakee Police Department

UPDATED: High-speed chase ends in Kankakee

By Jeff Bonty

Editor's Note:
 This story has been updated with the charges facing Jarvis Postlewaite.

KANKAKEE — A suspect in an armed robbery of a Pontiac gas station on the afternoon of Jan. 19 was taken into custody six hours and 50 miles later on the west side of Kankakee after he crashed his vehicle following a high-speed police chase.

According to Kankakee police, Jarvis Postlewaite, 37, of Aurora, robbed a Pontiac gas station at gunpoint at about 12:54 p.m. Wednesday.

Police say Postlewaite forced those in the gas station to lie down and he got away with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was hurt, police said.

He fled the scene in a 1999 Honda Accord reported stolen last Friday in Aurora, police said. It was later seen in Dwight and northeast Livingston County and used to lead police on a high-speed chase heading east on Illinois Route 17, according to police.

At about 8:53 p.m., Kankakee police were alerted that an Illinois State Police vehicle pursuit was approaching Kankakee. Kancomm dispatchers were advised that Postlewaite was armed and dangerous, according to police. Then, in the area of West Station Street and West Court Street, Kankakee officers observed the vehicle traveling east at a very high rate of speed on West Station Street with multiple police vehicles in pursuit.

Postlewaite crashed his vehicle after hitting several residences and a sign in the 1800 and 1900 blocks of West Station Street, police said.

Postlewaite fled on foot and ran south into the backyard of 300 South Tanner Avenue, where he fell on the ground, police said.

Officers say they approached Postlewaite and ordered him to show his hands and stay on the ground. Postlewaite initially complied, rolling onto his stomach, but then pushed himself up off the ground, pulling away from officers and began to run east through the backyard while reaching for his chest, according to police.

Officers grabbed hold of Postlewaite and forced him to the ground, police said. Postlewaite once again initially complied but then began to reach toward the front of his body, according to police. Police said a taser was used but was only partially effective, allowing Postlewaite to again attempt to get up and run, but he fell back on the ground.

Two officers forcibly handcuffed Postlewaite behind his back. In their search of him, police said they found a black and silver handgun on the ground under Postlewaite’s body.

“This individual’s failure to comply with officers’ orders put these officers in great danger in that he could have quickly rolled over and shot officers,” Kankakee Police Chief Robin Passwater said. “Tasers oftentimes are not effective, especially with heavy clothing. Most often the only way to subdue an offender is to physically wrestle and forcibly handcuff an individual, even if they are armed with a firearm.”

Officers recovered a large amount of cash, multiple bags of suspected cannabis and a small bag of suspected cocaine from Postlewaite, police said.

Postlewaite was transported to AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital by Kankakee City Fire EMS. He was released into the custody of the Livingston County Sheriff's Department.

According to Livingston County online court records, Postlewaite was charged with armed robbery/armed with a firearm, armed habitual offender and felon in possession of a firearm.

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at jbonty@daily-journal.com and 815-937-3366

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