Mercer County authorities are asking the public’s help in locating a fugitive with a long criminal history who used his vehicle to strike and injure a sheriff’s deputy late Wednesday.
Jesse J. Walsh, 29, 2980 155th Ave., Sherrard, Illinois, is wanted out of Mercer County for aggravated battery to a police officer, aggravated fleeing and eluding.
Aggravated battery to a police officer is a Class 1 felony under Illinois law that carries minimum prison sentence of 4 years with a maximum of 15 years.
According to a news release issued by Mercer County Crime Stoppers, at 11:42 p.m. Tuesday, Mercer County Sheriff’s deputies tried to perform a traffic stop on a vehicle Walsh was driving.
Walsh fled and a short time later Rock Island County Sheriff’s deputies located the vehicle. Walsh also fled Rock Island County deputies.
During the incident a Mercer County Sheriff’s deputy was struck by Walsh’s vehicle.
The incident took place east of Sherrard on the Mercer County-Rock Island County line.
Walsh then crashed his vehicle a short distance away and fled on foot.
The Mercer County Deputy was taken to University Hospitals, Iowa City, for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The deputy’s name has not been released.
Walsh is on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry. In 2006 he was convicted of criminal sexual abuse for having sexual relations with a 15-year-old. The charge at that time was an aggravated misdemeanor under Illinois law for which Walsh served a 120-day jail term and was sentenced to two years on probation. He also is required to register with the state as a sex offender.
In 2007, he was convicted in Mercer County of failure to register annually, and in 2008 was convicted of felony theft. He received a 3-year prison sentence on each conviction which he was to serve concurrently, meaning the time he served for one counted conviction counted for the second conviction.
In 2010, Walsh was convicted on one count of burglary in Mercer County for which he was sentenced to four years in prison.
Walsh is currently out on bond on two burglary charges for which he was arrested in May. Each is a Class 2 felony under Illinois law. If convicted he will face a minimum prison sentence of three years, up to a maximum of seven years in prison, on each conviction. A pre-trial conference in that case is scheduled for Dec. 15 in Mercer County Circuit Court.
Mercer County prosecutors could ask the court to revoke Walsh’s bond on the two burglary charges given that he is supposed to stay out of trouble as a condition of bond and now has new charges filed against him.
Walsh also has felony convictions in Rock Island County for burglary, aggravated fleeing, and manufacturing methamphetamine.
Anyone with information on Walsh's whereabouts is asked to call Mercer County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-582-2762 or 309-582-3500.
Information leading to Walsh's arrest, or to the arrest of anyone else involved in criminal activity, could mean a reward of up to $1,000.