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Daily Journal
     April 1, 2020      #15-92 KDJ

Jim Rowe involved in Kankakee standoff that leads

By Jeff Bonty

KANKAKEE — Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe was involved in a standoff Monday that led to the arrest of a Kankakee man.

The incident, which was livestreamed on Facebook by a neighbor, occurred around 5 p.m. in an apartment complex in the 900 block of East Chestnut Street in Kankakee. Police entered an apartment and took Denzell L. Leggett, 23, of Kankakee, into custody.

The video posted online shows Rowe talking with Leggett through a window of an apartment.

During the 30-plus minute conversation, Rowe can be seen with at least two Kankakee police officers at his side. Leggett’s mother arrived and also was talking to her son.

Rowe ripped off a window screen and grabbed Leggett, allowing police to enter the apartment and arrest him.

“I have no comment other than I want to apologize to law enforcement for making a dumb and dangerous decision,” Rowe told the Daily Journal Tuesday.

Kankakee police Chief Frank Kosman said Rowe knew the family and was asked by police to talk to Leggett.

“And then he went a little further,” Kosman said. “That’s all I can say. No one was hurt, and we didn’t find a gun.”

Kosman said there were residents in another unit of the building, but they didn’t know Leggett.

Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies were on scene, including a SWAT team. Leggett’s initial court appearance is Wednesday where his bond will be set.

Kosman said officers spotted Leggett at 5:14 p.m. walking in the 900 block of East Chestnut. Police knew he was wanted on warrants for charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated assault and possession of a controlled substance.

Leggett also was being sought for questioning in a March 11 armed robbery involving a shooting that occurred on the 1100 block of Chicago Place.

When officers approached Leggett, he ran into the nearby apartment, according to police. Officers set up a perimeter around the area and negotiations started. Leggett was taken into custody at 6:45 p.m. on charges of home invasion, obstructing justice and criminal damage to property.

Rowe has asked the State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor Office to prosecute the case since his involvement creates a conflict of interest. He said using the appellate office does not cost the county any additional money.

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Jeff Bonty
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