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In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, the Daily Chronicle newspaper will not be published May 27. Breaking news and information will be updated on
Crime & Courts

Police: NIU linebacker fled crash, elbowed deputy in jaw

Spokesman: Walker remains member of football team

Daniel Walker, 20, of Carol Stream
Daniel Walker, 20, of Carol Stream

SYCAMORE – A Northern Illinois University freshman linebacker was released Wednesday on a charge of aggravated battery to a police officer, but not before an unusual bond hearing.

Court records show a DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy had to chase down Daniel J. Walker, a 20-year-old Wheaton North High School graduate, after a two-car crash about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Route 64 and Glidden Road. Walker was driving north on Glidden when his gray 2014 Ford Taurus spun and hit the rear of a blue 2018 Tesla driven by David Schroepfer, 57, of Belvidere, also driving north on Glidden; Walker’s car ended up in the field northwest of the intersection, Sheriff Roger Scott said.

Records show that after one of two passengers in Walker’s vehicle identified him as the driver, Walker ran. A sheriff’s deputy caught up with Walker about 150 feet away, where Walker swung his elbow and hit the deputy in the jaw. Walker continued to try to escape as he was on the ground being handcuffed, records show. Scott said Walker refused to provide any blood or urine to be tested, but the deputy’s observations led to a DUI-drugs charge.

“The officer had enough probable cause for him to be charged,” Scott said.

Walker, of the 1N000 block of Coventry Drive in Carol Stream, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, aggravated battery of a police officer, resisting arrest, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and operating an uninsured vehicle. If convicted of aggravated battery of a police officer, he could face two to five years in prison. If he does prison time, he will be placed on two years of parole thereafter.

Judge Philip Montgomery ordered that Walker be released on his signature. Walker was indignant from the moment he appeared on closed-circuit video.

“Oh my God,” he said. “What’s up?”

As Montgomery explained the charges and potential sentences, Walker laughed, smirked, shook his head and put it on the table in front of him for several seconds at a time.

“Are you with me, Mr. Walker?” Montgomery said at one point.

“That wasn’t me, man,” Walker responded.

“Well, you need to listen to what I’m telling you,” Montgomery said.

NIU spokesman Joe King said Walker still is on the football team at this time.

“The athletic department is aware of the matter and is currently deciding the appropriate course of action,” King said.

He said in terms of Walker’s full-time student status, his situation could become a matter for the student conduct process. King said he’s unsure how soon any decisions could be made, or how soon potential discipline could be handed down.

Walker, who is represented by private lawyer Gary Johnson, is due back in court at 9 a.m. Dec. 7.

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