NEW: 'Zombies' drove Peoria man to attempt ramming airport termi - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

NEW: 'Zombies' drove Peoria man to attempt ramming airport terminal, via prosecutor

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UPDATE 3/6/2018: We're learning more about a Peoria man's motive for allegedly attempting to ram a terminal at the Peoria International Airport.

25 News spoke to prosecutor Steve Pattelli Tuesday. Pattelli told us 27-year-old Justine Deemie allegedly believed there was an impending zombie apocalypse. He also told us Deemie was on cocaine at the time of the incident on Feb. 17.

Pattelli said that's why Deemie is accused of breaking into a woman's apartment, stealing the keys to her SUV, and trying to ram the vehicle into the airport terminal. We're told authorities believe Deemie may have entered a secured area of the airport through the baggage claim, where he was allegedly able to get on an empty plane. 

When Deemie realized the plane wasn't going anywhere, he reportedly got off and attempted to break into a Peoria County Sheriff squad car. We're told Deemie's hope was to take the squad car and flee the 'zombie apocalypse' to Florida. 

Deemie was indicted Tuesday and is still at the Peoria County Jail.

Court documents say his bond is set at $500,000 pending his arraignment Thursday. 

He's charged with one Class X felony, one Class 1 Felony, two Class 2 Felonies, and one Class 4 Felony. Pattelli tells us he could face 30-60 years behind bars. 

We'll keep you updated with this story as we learn more. 



UPDATE 7:55 am: In a statement, Peoria International Airport officials say at about 3 AM Saturday morning, Justin Deemie of Peoria unsuccessfully tried to ram a stolen vehicle, and enter the airport's main terminal. He then, according to authorities, exited the vehicle, and entered the building, trying to get into a secure area.

That then alerted both airport officials, and the Peoria County Sheriff, who were on duty at the airport.

The statement adds that Deemie spent seven minutes in the secure area, before trying to break into the deputy's vehicle parked out front.

Deemie was arrested in the airport's parking lot.

He is in a Peoria hospital at this time. No condition has been provided.

The bomb squad, and TSA officials were called in to do a sweep of the entire airport and grounds. Nothing was found, and the airport has since been reopened.

Authorities believe at this time that this is an isolated incident. 

UPDATE 7:13 AM: Peoria International Airport officials tell Heart of Illinois ABC that the airport reopened this morning at 7 AM. More information will be released later this morning about the incident. 

PEORIA, Ill. -- A man has been arrested after breaking into a secure area at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport. 

A statement from the airport says that the break-in happened early this morning, during a time when there were no passengers at the airport.

Airport officials add that the man has been apprehended, and steps are underway to re-establish security throughout the airport.

Until that is done, the airport remains closed at this time. 

Airport director Gene Olson tells our news partners at News Radio 1470 that traffic is stopped at Dirksen Parkway. 

The suspect's name has not yet been released.

It is also unknown when the airport will reopen.

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