JOLIET – Police say an 18-year-old man ignored, then struggled with, officers before being arrested Monday, but a person who posted on social media a few seconds of video of the arrest says her friend was beaten.
Joliet Police Deputy Chief Tab Jensen said police went at 6:19 p.m. Monday to Benton Street and Youngs Avenue to find “about 20 subjects standing in the roadway.”
“That is an area of high gang activity that has seen several shootings in the last few days,” Jensen said. “Several known Vice Lords were in the middle of the street and began to walk away when officers arrived.”
When the group was told to move over to a nearby fence, everyone complied except Dae R. Roberson, who continued walking away, Jensen said.
“They yelled for him to stop. He finally complied and the officers started a ‘pat search’ for their safety,” Jensen said. “Roberson clenched his fists, grabbed onto the fence, clenched them again. He was told to put his hands behind his back and refused.”
Roberson then allegedly began struggling and an officer hit him two times as a “distraction” and put handcuffs on one wrist, Jensen said.
“A knife dropped from his pocket,” Jensen said. “[Roberson] turned and shoved the officer in the chest, then ran before he was grabbed and taken to the ground where he was [struck] again.”
Jensen said there was broken glass in the area where the struggle occurred and two officers suffered cuts to their hands. Roberson suffered a cut lip and bruises to his hands and knees, and those injuries were photographed, Jensen said.
In a Facebook post tagged #JUSTICE4DAE, Celena Reyes states Roberson was beaten brutally by police as he was arrested. It was accompanied by a 9-second video that shows a portion of the arrest.
Reyes wrote that her friend was walking her back from the McDonald’s on Cass Street and as they were walking with other friends, “doing no harm to anyone as even kids were playing outside,” when police pulled up and “grabbed” her friend. Reyes said Roberson started walking the other direction. Reyes said she too was walking in the other direction when the officer appeared and did so until she saw “him get beat brutally.”
Reyes said there were more videos and she encouraged others to share them in order to “raise awareness and be safe from our protectors.”
Jensen confirmed that part of the arrest was recorded by a witness on her camera phone.
“She voluntarily made a copy for us that was placed into evidence and may be used in [Roberson’s] prosecution,” Jensen said.
Roberson, of the 2100 block of Tamarack Drive in Joliet, was arrested on charges of aggravated battery and resisting arrest. He was also ticketed for walking in the roadway. He is being held in the Will County Jail on $50,000 bond.
Roberson’s case briefly was in court Friday morning as defense attorney Greg Reeder asked Judge Dave Carlson for permission to visit his client in person at the Will County Jail. Jail visitation is typically done through a video system. Carlson granted the request.
The judge also allowed Reeder to bring a camera into the facility, but noted the jail may have its own policy on how it’s used.
“We want to take photographs of his injuries, make sure that he’s receiving medical treatment as they heal and that evidence is preserved,” Reeder said. “If there’s any issue with that, we’ll be back in court on Monday.”
Attempts since Thursday to connect with the witness who posted the video on social media were unsuccessful.