HERRIN - Neighbors in the Heights section of Herrin got a rude awakening Thursday when police, dogs and a tactical response team swarmed their neighborhood.
Police were looking for two men - D'Angelis M. Chambers, 18, and a male juvenile, 16 - who were allegedly involved in an earlier altercation that left a third man in a Springfield hospital.
Police received a call from the 23-year-old victim at 1:21 a.m. Thursday. The man told police he was involved in an altercation with two men and had been struck in the face with the weapon.
The victim was taken first to Herrin Hospital for treatment and then to a Springfield hospital because of the apparent severity of his injuries, state police spokesman David Sneed said.
Further investigation led police to a house at 2 C Lane, home of one of the alleged suspects.
Police attempted to make contact with the suspects but were unsuccessful. A search warrant for the property was issued by a Williamson County judge at 4:43 a.m.
The state police tactical response team was then called in to execute the warrant. During the execution, the two men were rooted out of a nearby shed by the barking of a police dog.
As a crowd of neighbors watched, the two were taken into custody without further incident.
"It was very scary waking up to this," neighbor Sharon Rigney said of the massive police presence visible in the area surrounding the small white duplex on the city's southwest side. "I woke up to sirens and then heard, 'Come out with your hands up. We're not going to hurt you.'"
Rigney said the neighborhood, generally a quiet one, was buzzing with talk during all the activity overnight.
"Someone said they saw (one of the suspects) running the other night and saying someone was trying to beat him up. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with what happened today though."
Chambers' aunt, LaDreama Burdette, said she also wondered if the previous incident was connected to the altercation Thursday.
"An incident happened days before. A bunch of kids came to jump him (Chambers), but that altercation got stopped," Burdette of Marion said. "I don't know if that's what came into play here today. I'm not trying to make excuses because someone was seriously hurt today, but I just don't know what happened."
Burdette said she appreciated the way police, especially state police and the tactical response team, handled the search for the two suspects.
"The state police did a wonderful job, at least from what I witnessed today. I was in hysterics when I got here, but I calmed down once they explained they weren't going in shooting," she said.
A BB gun was recovered from the house, but police were still searching for the weapon described by the victim.
Both suspects will be charged with aggravated battery and armed violence, Herrin Police Chief Stu Ridings said.
Chambers, who was already wanted on an active warrant for battery, was taken to Williamson County Jail, Ridings said, while the juvenile was taken to Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center.
Energy police and Williamson County sheriff's deputies also assisted Herrin police during the search.