Man who caused lockdown at Blessing sentenced to prison

Quincy (WGEM) — A Quincy man who led police on a chase and caused a lockdown at Blessing Hospital in Quincy has been sentenced to prison.

Court records indicate that Robert Sparks, 46, entered a plea Thursday to charges of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. Judge Robert Adrian immediately sentenced him to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Records stated that Sparks pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the charges. The plea recognized that he has mental health issues and would allow him to receive mental health treatment through the Department of Corrections.

Our newsgathering partners at the Herald-Whig reported that Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck noted that Sparks had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The Herald-Whig reported that as part of the plea agreement, charges of domestic battery, aggravated fleeing to elude a peace officer, aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of aggravated assault were dropped.

The Herald-Whig reported that Keck said if the case had gone to trial, she would have called Quincy police officers who would have testified that they were called Feb. 22, 2017, to the 500 block of North 22nd Street, where they found a 49-year-old woman who showed signs that she had been battered. The woman told police that Sparks had been paranoid for a couple months accusing her of “sleeping around.”

He is alleged to have hit the woman’s face 15 times before grabbing a knife and threatening to kill her and then himself, according to the Whig. They reported that the woman was taken to Blessing Hospital for treatment, where she was diagnosed with a brain bleed, a broken right eye socket and required 11 stitches to an ear. She also was diagnosed with permanent post-concussion syndrome.

Sparks was later found by police at North 22nd and College Avenue, and he fled officers for 15 minutes until apprehended in the Knapheide Manufacturing Co. parking lot at North 30th and Koch’s Lane.

Blessing Hospital was under lockdown until Sparks’ arrest, after he reportedly threatened the woman.

To read more from the Herald-Whig click here.

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Bomb threat at Blessing Hospital

Zachary Voss

Zachary Voss

Zachary Voss is the Assignment Editor at WGEM.

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