Man’s fear of zombies led to crash at Peoria Airport

By Holly Eitenmiller For Chronicle Media

Justin T. Deemie, 27, Peoria

Driven by the fear of a zombie apocalypse, a Peoria man tried to ram a stolen car into a local airport terminal, boarded an empty airplane in hopes of flying to Florida, then attempted to steal a Peoria County deputy’s car before he was arrested.

Justin Tyme Deemie, according Peoria County criminal records, was indicted by grand jury on charges of home invasion, burglary, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, and criminal damage to government supported property last month.

Deemie, 27, of 1115 E. Elmhurst Ave. was under the influence of drugs, according to prosecutor Steve Patelli, when he broke into a neighboring apartment, took the keys to a 2005 Ford Escape and drove it to the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport in the early hours of Feb. 17.

After trying to plow through a terminal, Deemie passed through a restricted, secured area, entered the tarmac and boarded a plane in hopes of flying to Florida. Upon discovering the plane was empty, Deemie fled from the plane, smashed the rear window out of a Peoria County deputy’s vehicle in an attempt to steal it and drive to Florida.

The entrance to the main terminal off Everett McKinley Dirksen Parkway at The Peoria International Airport. (Photo courtesy of Peoria International Airport)

The deputy remotely disabled the car, and police were able to apprehend Deemie as he tried to run away. He was transported to a local hospital, then taken into custody, where he remains on $500,000.

Deemie’s actions caused a number of flight cancellations and delays. His arraignment was March 6, and a jury trial is set for May 30. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Other than a 2014 domestic battery charge, Deemie’s Peoria County criminal record is comprised mostly of traffic violations.




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