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Urbana Man Faces Attempted Murder Charge After Allegedly Ramming Truck Into County Jail

URBANA – Authorities have charged an Urbana man with attempted first-degree murder and several other crimes after he allegedly rammed a stolen truck into the Champaign County Satellite Jail Wednesday morning.

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz says it all began when 37-year-old Yevgeniy Nikolaev allegedly stole a white Ford pickup truck from Feldkamp’s Towing in Urbana early Wednesday morning.

Authorities say at about 8:30am Wednesday, Nikolaev drove the stolen truck to the Champaign County Highway building in Urbana, where he attempted to take a county vehicle. After being unable to start it, they say he drove the stolen truck to the Champaign County Satellite Jail.

Rietz says Nikolaev attempted to enter the jail on foot. When he couldn’t, she says he drove the truck through the security gate on the northeast side of the jail, then repeatedly rammed the sally port of the jail with the truck. She says he eventually breached the entrance and hit a prison transport van with no one inside.

Rietz says Nikolaev then left the truck to yell at corrections officers, then got back in the truck and drove it on the sidewalk toward the main west entrance. She says when officers at the jail confronted Nikolaev, he swerved the truck toward one of them. Rietz says the deputy fired his gun at the truck before diving out of the way.

After briefly driving the truck away from the jail, Rietz says Nikolaev drove parallel to the jail, again swerving to try to hit one of the deputies, and then drove away.

Authorities say Nikolaev then drove north on Lierman Ave., before crashing the truck at the intersection of Lierman and Main St.

Rietz says Nikolaev then ran north to the parking lot of Illini FS on University Ave., where he first tried to enter a company vehicle, then tried to steal another pickup truck by pulling the owner out of it. Rietz says the owner was able to fight Nikolaev off. She says as police arrived, Nikolaev ran into Illini FS where he was arrested.

In addition to attempted first-degree murder, Rietz says Nikolaev faces charges of vehicular invasion, criminal damage to state-supported property, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Rietz says Nikolaev was treated for injuries at Carle Hospital in Urbana and released into police custody. She says Judge Roger Webber set bond for Nikolaev at $2 million and that Nikolaev is currently being held at the Champaign County Satellite Jail.


Picture of Brian Moline

Brian Moline

Brian Moline is the Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom and host of Morning Edition for Illinois Public Media/WILL. He's been with WILL since 2015, after a long stint at WDWS-AM in Champaign where he covered both news and sports for more than a decade. If you have story or interview ideas, you can reach Brian at bmoline@illinois.edu.

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