- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—DECATUR — Antonio A. Stewart, 44, was arrested Saturday on charges of aggravated battery of a police officer, trespassing and resisting, after he allegedly struck an officer as he was being booked into the jail on a trespassing charge.

After Circuit Judge Thomas E. Griffith set his bond at $20,000 Monday morning, Stewart protested.

“I thought I was just coming in for the night to sober up,” Stewart told the judge. He said he had hoped for a recognizance bond, in which he would gain his freedom by his signature.

“I wasn’t fighting with them or nothing,” he said, as he threw a few quick shadow box punches to demonstrate what he claimed he had not done.

Stewart was arrested at 11:50 p.m. Saturday after police received a report of a man begging for money outside the Tobacco Shack, 343 W. Grand Ave.

When Decatur patrol officer Brad Saul arrived, he saw Stewart speaking to a patron of the business in the parking lot, according to an affidavit by Saul.

The officer determined that there was an active “no trespass” police order against Stewart at that address.

In the Macon County Jail prebooking area, Stewart became verbally abusive to officers, calling them various profane names and telling them he planned to mess them up, police said.

After ignoring several orders to remain seated, Stewart assumed a fighting stance against patrol officer Aaron Carr. The officer “approached Antonio with his right palm and told him to sit down,” Saul wrote in his report.

“Antonio then struck officer Carr’s right forearm with his right hand,” the affidavit said.

Stewart has about 48 prior criminal convictions since 1988 for offenses including battery, theft, felon possessing a firearm and aggravated battery to a police officer. Twenty-six of the cases occurred in Cook County, while others were in Macon County, McLean County and San Diego, Calif. Stewart, who has 11 known aliases, served five terms in the Illinois Department of Corrections, as well as numerous jail terms.

He is due in court by Monday for his arraignment in his most recent case.

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