A Peoria man could be imprisoned for years for allegedly possessing a firearm as a felon for the third time and trying to disarm the police officers who arrested him on Interstate 74 last month.
Damien Grant, 31, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a Class X armed habitual criminal charge and six others, including possessing a weapon as a felon, aggravated battery and disarming a police officer. He’s in custody on $300,000 bond.
A Tazewell County grand jury indicted Hill last week, replacing charges filed following his arrest July 4 on I-74 near mile post 104.
Hill was on parole from a six-year sentence for his second felon-firearm possession in Peoria County when an Illinois State Police trooper stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation. Smelling marijuana in the car, the trooper summoned a second who detained Hill while the car was searched.
After a loaded handgun was found under the driver’s seat, Hill fought with the troopers as they tried to handcuff him, court records stated. He reached for the troopers’ service weapons and dislodged one of their Tasers before he was subdued.
Hill later said he fought because he knew he was in serious trouble due to his criminal history, the records stated. He also was convicted of burglary in Peoria County 10 years ago.