PEORIA, IL – Imagine how you’d feel if someone mugged your kids while they ran a little lemonade stand.
Now welcome to Peoria, Illinois.
Rarely, are these children victimized, however, that is exactly what happened in Peoria, Illinois this month. Two thugs robbed the children at gunpoint, and ran off with the money they had made. When the report was made, officers from Peoria decided to step up and ensure that any money that was lost was replaced.
Earlier in August, two young teenagers, Jude Peterson and Tristan Charbonnel, both 13-years-old, set up an old-fashioned lemonade stand in Peterson’s neighborhood, to raise money and to learn about business.
According to Jude’s father, Nathan, business was going well that day when two kids in a car drove by slowly and waved. Nathan stated that the kids were older than the victims, but was unsure of the approximate age.
A few minutes later, the same kids walked up to the stand and asked Jude and Charbonnel what they were selling.
As the teenagers were speaking to the two, Nathan said:
“One of them pulled out a gun and the other said, ‘Let me get your cash box.’ They were kind of laughing about it.”
“The boys, [Jude and Charbonnel], I don’t think they could process what was happening at the moment. They were kind of stunned, like, ‘What’s going on?’”
Nathan believes that the suspects made off with around $30. The incident was captured on a neighbor’s video surveillance camera which shows the two approach, one of them swiping the cash box off of the table before they run away.
Jude and Charbonnel had started the lemonade stand at the beginning of the summer, and had no issues prior to this. Other kids in the area, as well as Jude’s siblings, helped run the operation.
Nathan said Jude:
“enjoyed having a little business and having some responsibility. I think he naturally wants something like that.”
Peoria police responded for the armed robbery, and began their investigation. Not only were officers working at identifying and apprehending the suspects, but they also provided calm to the situation.
“First of all, the police officers were buying $20 lemonades, which was really kind of them. They were super-gentle with the kids and really seemed to care. They were a great calming presence in the situation.”
Word spread through the neighborhood of the robbery, and people started to show up and donate money. Neighbors also provided items, like chips and candy, that Jude and Charbonnel could sell at their stand in addition to the lemonade, without asking for anything in return.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 17, 2020
If that was not enough, police officers returned to the lemonade stand the next day and asked what else they could do to make the kids feel safe.
Police Chief Loren Marion told Fox & Friends Weekend that his community police sergeant “came up with the idea,” to do a fundraiser for the children. And not just any fundraiser, having a large portion of the officers who were working the area show up and take part in the lemonade stand.
Officers were seen on video from Fox & Friends buying lemonade, standing their while enjoying their drinks, and spending time with them in order to make the children and the community feel safe. In addition, a line of officers in police vehicles drove by the stand with their lights on parading past the lemonade stand.
As far as the suspects in the case, Marion advised that he has a detective assigned to the case, and believes that she is making progress. He is hopeful arrests will be made.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
This is the least of Illinois’s problems when it comes to crime. Chicago has faced months of chaos and rioting in the streets, as shown in the recent story Law Enforcement Today brought to you.
The 28-year-old suspect was hit with a criminal complaint composed of eight pages from a federal court in Minnesota for civil disorder, carrying on a riot and possession of unregistered destructive devices.
NEW: DOJ announces federal complaint charging Illinois man with traveling to Minnesota to riot with the possession of explosive devices.
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) June 2, 2020
Matthew Lee Rupert seems to be the first among all the riots and looting to have landed federal charges since they started.
The criminal complaint alleges that Rupert engaged in various acts along the lines of rioting and looting while traveling across interstate lines.
What makes the criminal complaint so intriguing is that there’s been speculation over whether protests within various cities were infiltrated by organizations and groups not local to certain areas where demonstrations were happening.
“Light that bitch and throw it at them!” Matthew Rupert, 28, of Galesburg, posted video of himself lighting a building on fire and looting stores during #GeorgeFloyd protests in Minnesota and Chicago, Feds allege. https://t.co/0iWUyEtDJC pic.twitter.com/DvoDWfjBcC
— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) June 1, 2020
With Rupert’s charges alleging him being in Minneapolis rioting, while having been said to reside in Illinois, lays some credence to that suspicion.
Rupert attended a telephonic removal hearing in front of U.S. District Chief Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in Chicago, and he’s going to be sent back to Minnesota to face his charges.
The defendant was said to have maintained his innocence during the hearing by way of his attorney, reportedly.
As of now, there’s nothing among the criminal complaint against Rupert that alleges he has ties to any organizations.
However, the criminal complaint noted that Rupert allegedly maintained a Facebook profile under the name “El Ricco Rupert.”
This little turd drove 800 miles from downstate IL to Minneapolis and then Chicago with explosives and cash. His name is Matthew Lee Rupert. from Galesburg, IL Who is funding him? https://t.co/nSvReRzsFt pic.twitter.com/R7TGUFPExL
— Flush the Turd on Nov. 3rd (@Real_TJ_Thomas) June 2, 2020
Officials say this account boasted a post on May 28th noting that Rupert intended to travel to Minneapolis to engage in the riots, and asked if any “goons” wanted to join:
“I’m going to Minneapolis tomorrow who coming only goons I’m renting hotel rooms.”
Facebook has since deleted the account from the platform.
From this same deleted account, Rupert allegedly posted a video on May 29th in which he said the following:
“There are SWAT trucks up there. They got SWAT trucks up there . . . I’ve got some bombs if some of you all want to throw them back . . . bomb them back . . . here I got some more . . . light it and throw it.”
JUST IN: Federal charges have been filed against Matthew Lee Rupert related to the looting in Chicago. The charge was filed in Minnesota, but the complaint says Rupert came to Chicago and is heard on a video saying "let's start a riot" and "I'm going to start doing some damage." pic.twitter.com/F674uwOm1B
— Jon Seidel (@SeidelContent) June 1, 2020
While making the aforementioned comments, Rupert allegedly started handing out what could be construed as explosive devices that contained green wicks to people in the area.
After handing out the explosive devices, Rupert allegedly said:
“Light that bitch and throw it at them.”
An unknown subject was said to have lit one of the devices and threw it in an unspecified direction, to which Rupert allegedly said on the video:
“He’s throwing my bombs…they’re going to bomb the police with them.”
According to the criminal complaint, an explosion can be heard in the background shortly thereafter, and Rupert said:
“Good shot my boy…Fuck 12”
Officials say that he also claimed to have set a fire inside of a Sprint store and took video of himself looting an Office Depot.
Rupert was then said to have made his way back to Chicago on or around May 30th. Investigators saw that he posted his traveling back from Minnesota to Illinois on the Facebook page.
Matthew Rupert allegedly had several homemade explosive devices when cops busted him in Chicago.
Authorities believe he joined the anti-police brutality protests for the general purpose of causing mayhem.https://t.co/X7zy9OZViQ
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 1, 2020
It was due to a curfew violation that Rupert saw himself initially arrested at 2:21 a.m. on May 31st.
When police had him in custody for the curfew violation, they discovered the explosive devices inside of his car which were said to be consistent with what was seen on the video.
Rupert’s girlfriend, who was present inside of the vehicle when he was arrested, allegedly told authorities about some of his criminal activity.
Even with the charges filed, the investigation is still ongoing reportedly as to what other criminal conduct Rupert may have engaged in while in Minneapolis.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!