Drunk and Disorderly Downtown
Wed, 07/22/2020 - 12:34pm admin
Willow Springs Man Charged with Two Felonies
Mark Adam Howell, 40, of Willow Springs, has been charged with first degree assault, serious physical injury or special victim, and with unlawful use of a weapon after a July 6 incident at Chapala Mexican Restaurant on West Main Street in Willow Springs.
On July 6, Sergeant Michael Huffman received a report of a 911 call from the address of the restaurant, reads a probable cause statement. The dispatcher could not understand the woman speaking, but Sgt. Huffman responded to the location, entering through the open rear door.
He made contact with Alejandro Diaz, the manager, who reported the events that prompted the 911 call by a female member of the staff.
Howell had been drinking alcoholic beverages at the restaurant that evening. The restaurant staff refused to serve Howell at a certain point, and he became angry.
Howell paid his bill without incident and left, but returned a short time later armed with a bow and arrows. The suspect pointed the loaded bow at Diaz and yelled at him “not to do weird stuff to his community.” Howell continued to yell until Diaz grabbed the arrow from the bow and pushed Howell out the door.
Diaz said Howell then charged at him, but the manager was able to eject the assailant through the front door. As Diaz tried to close the exterior door, Howell broke the glass pane of the door. Diaz suffered lacerations to the hands and arm.
Willow Springs Police Department recovered the arrow from the scene, which was a broadhead arrow generally used for hunting. In Court documents, Sgt. Huffman describes the loaded bow as “a weapon readily capable of lethal use.”
According to Chief Bryan Hogan, Howell was arrested by probation and parole on July 7.
On July 8, Howell pled not guilty during his initial appearance. He remained in custody on a $25,000 bond until July 15. After a hearing, Howell’s bond was reduced to $10,000 with the conditions that Howell live with his mother, refrain from consuming intoxicants, and stay away from both the victim and the restaurant.
Sgt. Huffman’s probable cause statement tells the court he believes Howell to be a danger to the community because, referring to a December 2018 incident, “[Howell] had discharged a high powered rifle in the direction of a person...and had to be removed by SWAT.”
In an interview both Assistant Chief Wes Ellison and Chief Hogan referred to Howell’s history of violent crimes, which they agreed are usually induced by alcohol use. The suspect was on probation for the 2018 incident. On July 15, the prosecuting attorney filed a Motion to Revoke Probation. This Motion will be heard on August 28 in conjunction with the newly filed charges. The accused will appear before the Honorable R. David Ray for both matters.