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MAN CHARGED WITH SEX ASSAULT ON CHILD ATTEMPTS ESCAPE

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Thursday, June 17, 2010— A south suburban man is being held on $85,000 bond after he attempted to escape from a Cook County courthouse while appearing at a hearing on charges he sexually assaulted a child, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Thursday.

Tyray CooperTyray Cooper, 20, a longtime Park Forest resident who recently moved to the 600 block of Hickok Lane in University Park, is charged with obstruction of justice, resisting arrest and attempted escape as a result of the Tuesday incident at the Markham courthouse. On Wednesday, bond on those charges was set at $5,000.

He was in court around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to face two counts of criminal sexual assault of a child – charges that stemmed from an investigation by the Park Forest Police Department. Cooper made his escape attempt moments after Judge James L. Rhodes had set bond at $80,000 for Cooper on those charges.

As Cook County Sheriff’s deputies walked Cooper out of the courtroom to a holding cell, he turned to look at family members in the courtroom and made a comment in their direction. He then broke free from the deputies escorting him in an attempt to flee toward the doors at the rear of the courtroom. He made it as far as the tables attorneys sit at in court before he was restrained by multiple courtroom deputies.

There was a struggle before he was finally detained. By judicial order, defendants are not handcuffed when appearing for bond hearings.

As deputies attempted to place handcuffs on Cooper, his family members began shouting at deputies and causing a disruption in the courtroom. After several orders to leave, one family member threw the courtroom doors open, only to strike a young family member with the door, causing a minor injury to that child.

After a brief struggle with deputies, Cooper was handcuffed and returned to the holding cell. He is now being housed in the Cook County Jail.

His next court date is set for July 8 in Markham.

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