Suspect arrested shortly after robbery

Published 08/23 2013 09:58AM

Updated 08/27 2013 03:43PM

Latest: 6:00 pm
CHAMPAIGN -- A man on the run broke into another man's apartment to hide from police. The suspect is accused of robbing an area restaurant. Police say the suspect robbed Taco Bell on Springfield Avenue at gunpoint. But, what he did next, put businesses and schools on lock-down. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley has more.

Authorities say 21-year old Brion Howard ran to the Round Barn Apartments after the robbery and pushed in a door on the second floor. It shocked the man inside.

"I was sleeping."

But, Jean Fukma jumped out of bed when he heard loud noises coming from his living room. He saw Howard standing in his doorway.

"He asked me if he could stay with me because he was followed by the police."

Fukma says Howard explained to him he meant no harm and had no weapons.

"He asked me if he could have some water and take a shower, too."

Meanwhile, police were evacuating businesses and apartments while blocking off streets. Officers were packing guns, preparing to make an arrest.

"I got up in order to see what was happening."

Beyond these walls, Fukma was sitting in his living room with Howard making small talk, not knowing what would come next.

"I'm a human being. I was scared. You see someone followed by the police, you don't know what he did."

The next think Fukma knew, police were yelling for everyone inside the building to evacuate. He and dozens of others ran out and Howard ran back into the bathroom where he was arrested minutes later. Fukma has a pretty interesting story to tell his friends and he says he feels blessed his has a happy ending.

"Maybe it's just a grace to be safe like that."

Howard was charged with armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. It's not his first run-in with the law. He was charged with DUI and driving without a license last year.
Update: 10:25 am
CHAMPAIGN -- Police arrested a suspect within 90 minutes of an early morning armed robbery. A man was taken into custody while hiding in the shower stall of a bathroom in the Round Barn Apartments.

Police say he'd held up the Taco Bell on Springfield at gunpoint, and fled on foot with a bank bag full of cash. The suspect reportedly forced his way into an apartment in the complex. It's unknown if there was anyone in the apartment at the time.

Four schools in the area were put on soft lock-down after the hold-up while police conducted a preliminary search for the suspect. Officers, including a K-9 are still in the area searching for more evidence including a gun.
Original: 9:58 am
CHAMPAIGN -- Several area schools are on soft lock-down as police search for a robbery suspect. Authorities say a hold up took place at Taco Bell on Springfield Avenue this morning.
Officers think the suspect may be holed up at the Round Barn Apartments off Round Barn Road and have cordoned off the area.

We'll update this story as more information becomes available.

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