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Breaking News

Two arrested after a police pursuit led to a shootout near I-55 in Channahon

CHANNAHON – A Manhattan resident was charged Wednesday after a police pursuit led to a shootout near Interstate 55 and Arsenal Road in Channahon, which caused traffic backups.

Luke Bertolini, 23, of Manhattan is facing several charges in relation to the shootout, as well as a second incident involving gunfire, according to Channahon Police Chief Jeff Wold.

Wold said authorities responded about 2 p.m. to the report of an armed robbery at the Big Fish Bar and Grill, 27425 S. Will Road in Wilmington. Wold later clarified that a witness assumed the establishment had been robbed when a man ran out of the restaurant and started shooting a gun.
John Mathias, owner of Big Fish, said a man came in to the establishment and made comments that alarmed the staff before he went back out to the Harbor Marina.

"He asked my bartender, 'Can you fight?,' and went back outside [and] fired two or three shots in the marina," Mathias said. "It looked like he was on something."

After the report of multiple shots fired at Big Fish were made to authorities, Wilmington, Shorewood, Elwood, Will County Sheriff, and the Illinois State Police sent officers to assist, according to a news release issued late Wednesday night from Channahon Police.

While officers were responding, it was reported the offender was leaving the scene in a yellow Monte Carlo driven by a blond female, going south on Will Road.

About 2:25 p.m. a Wilmington officer located the offending vehicle driving north on I-55 from Lorenzo Road. Channahon, Shorewood, ISP and Will County Sheriff's units assisted as the Wilmington officer activated his emergency lights to stop the vehicle, which stopped on the Arsenal Road exit from I-55, according to the news release.

"The male offender exited from the passenger door of the vehicle with two handguns," authorities said in the news release. "One of the officers fired at the male and he jumped over a concrete barrier, falling about 12 feet to the ground."

Channahon and Shorewood officers apprehended him, and Wilmington Police and a Will County deputy took the female into custody, according to the news release.

Wold said it was not a a Channahon officer who exchanged gunfire with the male suspect.
"The suspects exchanged gunfire with police, but no one was struck before the confrontation ended," Wold said. There were no injuries from the incident.

The suspects were transported to the Channahon Police department for questioning, and Bertolini was later transported to the Will County Adult Detention Facility pending arraignment according to the news release.

Bertolini was charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a firearm, reckless discharge, and criminal damage to property, according to the news release. The woman – Kadi Craig, 23, of Manhattan – was released without being charged.

Wold said the Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force would investigate both Bertolini's alleged shooting outside the marina about 2 p.m. and the gunfight with police 25 minutes later.

"There are so many witnesses and evidence to collect it may be some time before the suspects are interviewed," Wold said Wednesday night.

The incident caused major backups on I-55. One of the northbound lanes was shut down for some time as police investigated the incident, and drivers were encouraged to avoid the area if possible, according to Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Fred Rivera.

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