Pekin man arrested after allegedly eluding police, crashing into high school

Local News

PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — A Pekin man, 63-year-old David E. Mason, has been identified by the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department as the man who allegedly ran his car through Pekin Community High School.

Deputy Chief Tim Gillespie tells WMBD Mason was found unresponsive in his vehicle by a Pekin police officer behind the Godfather’s Pizza in Pekin. When the officer turned on his emergency lights, Mason started driving away.

Gillespie says Mason then drove across Parkway Drive, jumping the curb and headed towards the high school. Mason finally came to a stop once he hit the building.

Reportedly Mason’s car inside the building

When deputies approached Mason’s car they noticed he was “sluggish.” They approached him and noticed he closed his eyes again. Chief Deputy Gillespie says officers were ordering him to get out of the car and turn it off, but Mason wasn’t obeying commands.

The Pekin Fire Department was called to get Mason out of the vehicle. Gillespie says they broke the window and pulled Mason out of his car.

Gillespie then says Mason resisted arrest and was then placed into custody. He was taken to the Emergency Room, but he had no injuries.

Mason is charged with for driving under the influence, fleeing/eluding a police officer, and resisting arrest.

Mason was released on-scene at the hospital. His toxicology report is done, but the department is waiting for the results. Gillespie says the DUI charge is expected to be “driving under the influence of a controlled substance.”

Mason has received a notice to appear for a court date on March 5.

The superintendent of Pekin Community High School released the following statement to WMBD.

“Around 9:30 p.m. last night, Wednesday, a driver of a car attempting to elude police drove onto campus striking the exterior of our building causing damage to the exterior wall of the school. One classroom was affected by the impact of this crash. Immediate steps were taken to not only secure the premises but also board up the exterior wall. No one was present in the classroom at the time of the incident. The teacher whose room was affected has been moved temporarily to a different location within the building. Classes have continued as normal. 

Dr. Danielle Owens | Superintendent | Pekin Community High School

This isn’t the only time Mason has recently been reported to have damaged property from a crash.

On January 10, 2020, Mason was arrested and charged with Criminal Damage to Property, Traffic Reckless Driving, and All Other Disorderly Conduct after getting into a dispute with an unidentified woman at an apartment complex in Peoria.

The police report says the woman’s door was damaged and they found tire tracks in the yard right next to the apartment complex. It says the officer was familiar with Mason from previous incidents, and that he lived in the complex.

The complex is located off Schramm Drive. The police report shows Mason’s car is a 1999 Toyota Camry, the same car he was allegedly in when he crashed into Pekin Community High School.

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