Update 6/7/19 – The man charged with aggravated assault and a hate crime at a West Peoria self-storage facility appeared before a judge on Wednesday who referred him to Veteran’s Problem-Solving Court for a June 12 appearance.
The shift to problem-solving court didn’t sit well with Gray, who told the source she had never heard of the specialty court and feared Anderson would be treated lightly. “He’s going to go there and get talked to, primed and told what to say … and he’s going to walk again,” she said. “I fear that he’s out. He’s about in the community, in Peoria; it’s unsafe.”
Standards for specialty or therapeutic courts were established by the Illinois Supreme Court in December 2015. The system provides “an alternative forum for certain individuals in the criminal justice system, such as veterans and those with mental illness or substance abuse disorders, among others,” according to the Illinois Courts website.
Anderson is scheduled to be arraigned on July 18.
4/25/19 – The victim of the alleged aggravated assault and hate crime at a West Peoria self-storage facility has come forward. Kontina Gray was at her unit when Anderson pulled up in his car and asked how long she’d be. When she told Anderson she’d only just arrived, he got out of his car, threatening her with the knife and yelling racial slurs, she told the source.
Though it isn’t clear from sources, the facts suggest Gray was somehow blocking Anderson’s access to his own unit.
“There’s no excuse for this behavior, when you have biases against another person for gender or race,” Asbell said.
“It’s absolutely outrageous; a 70-year-old white male confronting an African American female because he was angry,” added Don Jackson, a representative with the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “I’m not surprised that this is going on in the community; not only in our community, it’s happening across the country at this point in time.”
Anderson’s previous sentence for a hate crime seven years ago could escalate the severity of the felony with which he’s currently charged, Asbell told the source. “We have to let the public know that this won’t be tolerated,” he said. “Will that deter another person from doing this? Sometimes.”
4/23/19 – An elderly self-storage tenant has been charged with assault and a hate crime after he allegedly confronted a fellow customer Saturday morning at Mini Storage Solution in West Peoria, Ill. Jack T. Anderson, 70, drove to the facility at 2908 W. Farmington Road about 10 a.m. and got into an altercation with an African-American woman who was also visiting the property, according to the source.
Anderson was reportedly upset that he couldn’t access his storage unit, though it’s unclear if it was blocked by the victim, had been overlocked due to late payment, or was unreachable due to some other reason.
Anderson, who is white, allegedly wielded a knife and threatened to kill the woman. The victim told police the suspect used racial slurs and insults when he confronted her, saying he’d killed six other black people and would do the same to her.
As the woman called 911, Anderson purportedly approached her with a knife in his hand, but she fended him off by hitting him with a concrete brick, Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell told the source. Anderson told investigators a conflicting story, but police found a knife in his pocket.
In March 2012, Anderson was sentenced to probation and 100 hours of community service after he was charged with assault and a hate crime, the source reported.
Week.com, Peoria Man Arrested for a Hate Crime, Aggravated Assault to Appear in Problem-Solving Court
Heart of Illinois ABC, Peoria County Sheriff Responds to Alleged Racist Attack
JournalStar, Peoria Man Accused of Hate Crime, Assault at Self-Storage Facility