Josh R. Morales booking pic

Josh R. Morales

BOURBONNAIS — Police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a Bourbonnais man when he barricaded himself in his residence Wednesday, according to police reports.

Josh R. Morales was arrested following an eight-hour standoff with Illinois State Police, officers from several local law enforcement agencies and the Kankakee County Emergency Response Team.

The standoff began at approximately 10:20 a.m. Wednesday at Oak Creek Estates Mobile Home Park in Bourbonnais. It ended when police used a military vehicle to knock down the door to the home and took Morales into custody without incident.

One officer was treated for a minor injury, according to Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey.

According to a news release from Illinois State Police, investigators received information in April that Morales was allegedly involved in criminal activity.

Following an investigation, a search warrant was executed at Morales’ residence in Bourbonnais on Wednesday.

State police would not comment further because this is part of an ongoing investigation, the news release said.

On Friday, the 28-year-old Morales was charged with possession of a stolen license plate and resisting arrest. A Kankakee County Circuit Court judge set Morales bond at $75,000.

Morales was wanted on two warrants out of Iroquois County. According to Iroquois County records, one dealt with a possession of methamphetamine arrest in 2020 and the other for driving on a revoked license charge last month.

“Morales is a person of interest in multiple catalytic converter theft cases throughout Kankakee County [and surrounding counties],” Downey said.

“While some believe these types of crimes are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, some of the victims in these cases have had to spend as much as $2,000 to have their vehicles repaired.”

Downey said Morales has had several encounters with local law enforcement.

“In fact, our own deputies have revived this individual by providing him with life-saving doses of Narcan [Naloxone] on multiple occasions,” Downey said. “Additionally, our officers, as well as other law enforcement agencies in the immediate area have had several dangerous high-speed pursuits where Morales was in possession of stolen vehicles.”

Kankakee County court records show Morales was arrested following a high-speed chase in June 2020. One of the numerous charges was driving on a revoked license.

At the time of his arrest, he had another open case from May 2019 in which he was arrested on a charge of driving on a revoked license.

“I want to applaud the work of [Kankakee County] Chief Chad Gessner and Lt. Andy Bayston on their efforts during [Wednesday’s] incident.” Downey said.

“The inter-agency cooperation amongst the Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois State Police, the Bradley Police Department, the Bourbonnais Police Department, the Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Marshal’s Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Tri-County Auto Theft Task Force brought this volatile and tense incident to a peaceful resolution with Morales safely taken into custody.”

Downey said use of a military vehicle in this situation was valuable to keeping officers and the public protected.

“The fact that our officers were in possession of this military surplus vehicle from the Law Enforcement Support Office and were able to utilize it against someone who made statements regarding his commitment to fighting it out with the police and his refusal to return to prison peacefully is invaluable,” Downey said.

“This incident is an example that military surplus equipment, such as this, despite so many criticizing its use in law enforcement, allows officers to do their jobs while significantly limiting chances for injury or loss of life, to both the officers and the person(s) they are attempting to apprehend.”

The Kankakee County Emergency Response Team is a multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of officers from the Sheriff’s Office, the Bradley Police Department, the Manteno Police Department and the Bourbonnais Police Department. The ERT team also has two medical doctors from Riverside Medical Center.

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at jbonty@daily-journal.com and 815-937-3366.

Reporter

Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is jbonty@daily-journal.com.