Pike County Deputies Accosted, Cars Damaged by Crowd Following Barry Car Show

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 2, 2023 at 6:17pm

An area Sheriff says multiple people can expect charges after deputies were accosted and battered during what he says was a “shameful” treatment of law enforcement following a weekend car show.

In a press release this morning, from Pike County Sheriff David Greenwood, details were announced of an incident following the conclusion of the Barry Car Show Sunday.

Greenwood says recently he fielded a number of concerns from people who sit along Pike County Highway 4 and State Highway 106 in Barry in an area that has become customary for vehicles to spin their tires while onlookers encourage and cheer them on after the show.

He says complaints came into his office on safety concerns after a number of close call incidents over the last few years including an onlooker almost being struck by a car losing control, and a near head-on collision with a vehicle coming off I-72 in another instance.

Greenwood says he ordered his deputies to issue citations yesterday to anyone they saw violating the Illinois Vehicle Code. He says several years ago citations that were issued at the event were torn up for unknown reasons and those committing the infractions were not charged.

According to the account, one Pike County Sheriff’s patrol vehicle “was damaged as it was surrounded by hundreds of people, kicking it, denting it, scraping it, [and having] liquids thrown on it as a deputy who had just taken someone into custody was trying to leave the scene.”

“After attempts to get subjects to move, the deputy would get into his car and the subjects would get back out in front of it, keeping him from leaving. Pepper spray was eventually deployed to clear the crowd so the deputy could leave. The vehicle was repeatedly spat on at this event.”

Greenwood, who was also on scene Sunday, called it “completely shameful the way some of the citizens of Barry treated law enforcement”, the worst disrespect he has seen in his more than 24 years as an officer in Pike County.

He says people he has known for decades were yelling obscenities at Pike County Deputies including children who also made obscene gestures toward them.

Greenwood says it has also come to his attention that a social media buzz has grown out of the incident with word that one of his deputies had been “stripped of his badge” and fired, which he says in the announcement is not true, and that deputies acted valiantly, with two of them being in fear for their lives at the time.

According to the report, the Pike County Sheriff’s Office is reviewing video taken from the event, and criminal charges for individuals involved in damaging patrol cars, obstructing justice, mob action and aggravated battery of a peace officer will be presented to the Pike County State’s Attorney’s office with a request to file charges on these individuals.

Greenwood says his officers issuing citations was not at the request of Mayor Rennecker, who contacted him last week asking for a police presence at the scene for safety. Greenwood says the scenario would have been asking officers to ignore unsafe violations of the law without acting.

A request for an interview by WLDS News was declined today by Sheriff Greenwood, who cited a lack of available time due to the ongoing investigation.

Complete press release: