A man accused of firing a handgun at police during a weekend traffic stop in East Moline has made his first appearance on the resulting charge and is awaiting his next court date.
Darold S. Strunk, 25, Rock Island, has been charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm. He made his first appearance Wednesday and his next appearance, a preliminary hearing, is set for June 11.
Strunk allegedly fired a .380-caliber pistol during an encounter with the East Moline police May 25 at the intersection of 7th Street and 40th Avenue, according to the Rock Island County Integrity Task Force, which has been asked to investigate the incident because two officers on the scene also fired their weapons.
The two officers involved have been identified as patrolman Ryan Clark and patrolman Logan Wolfe by East Moline Police Chief John Reynolds. He said Clark has been with the department for less than one year, and Wolfe has served for four and half years.
According to county court records detailing the allegations supporting the felony charge, Strunk fired the pistol in the direction of an officer.
The task force has stated previously that Strunk shot at one of two squad cars involved in the stop.
Neither report has specified where the squad and the officer were in relation to each other at the time of the incident.
Strunk was shot, but his wound was not life-threatening, the task force said. He was hospitalized for a few days, then released into the custody of the Rock Island County Jail. At last report, information on who shot Strunk was not yet available.
Strunk was being held on a $750,000 bail, according to court records. To be released, he would have to post a $75,000 bond. The Rock Island County Public Defender’s Office has been appointed to represent Strunk.
At the June hearing, the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office will have to present an outline of its case against Strunk to a judge. That judge will determine whether the case is strong enough to continue, though the burden of proof required for finding in the state’s favor is not considered high. The next court dates, including an tentative trial date, are also set at this hearing.
The defense has the opportunity to questions the witness, usually a police officer, who presents the outline. The defendant can choose to waive the hearing, which means the state’s presentation goes unchallenged, and the case continues.
In either case, the defendant maintains the presumption of innocence.
The task force is investigating both Strunk and the police officers who were involved, Illinois State Police Lt. Chris Endress has said.
The two officers have been placed on administrative leave, according to the East Moline Police Department.
Helping to determine whether there was wrongdoing on the part of police officers in situations like an officer-involved shooting is the point of the task force, which is comprised of representatives of local, county and state law enforcement.
When the task force is activated, every member agency but the one that is the subject of the inquiry provides investigators.
Its investigators are collecting evidence from the May 25 shooting that will be presented to the acting Rock Island County State’s Attorney Patricia Castro, who will decide whether further charges are to be filed against Strunk or if any will be filed against the officers.