Crime Brief

‘Road rage incident’ ends with arrest at Prairie Grove elementary, junior high, sheriff’s office says

Both schools were placed on a hard lockdown, although no students were present as first day was pushed back to Monday

Both Prairie Grove Elementary School and Prairie Grove Junior High were placed on lockdown Friday morning after a “road rage incident” ended with a Chicago man being arrested in the school’s parking lot, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said.

McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies officers responded about 9:15 a.m. Friday to the intersection of Deerpass and River roads near Marengo after someone reported seeing the driver of a black 1997 Toyota RAV4 display what appeared to be a handgun during a “road rage incident,” according to a news release.

A short time after the reported incident, Lakewood police officers spotted the vehicle and shared the information, according to the release.

Prairie Grove Police Chief Lawrence Canada also spotted the vehicle and followed it into the parking lot of the school.

Canada told the Northwest Herald that the vehicle drove around to the back of the school and the driver exited the vehicle and began walking near the building, where Canada held him at gunpoint. Officers detained him a short time later.

The man was identified as Donovan C. Stewart, 23, of Chicago.

Upon Stewart’s arrest, he was found to have an airsoft gun, a replica toy gun that the sheriff’s office said resembled a handgun, according to the release.

Stewart is an employee of a company hired by Prairie Grove School District 46, according to the release. He is not a school district employee.

Prairie Grove District 46 Superintendent John Bute said the school went on a hard lockdown around 9:45 a.m. Friday because of police activity outside the building, which lasted about a half-hour.

No students were present in the school at the time of the incident, according to the sheriff’s office.

The first day of school for Prairie Grove District 46 was pushed back to Monday after storms this week caused outages at the building.

Stewart was taken to the McHenry County Jail and charged with two misdemeanor counts of aggravated assault.

Ben Szalinski

Ben Szalinski

Ben reports on local news in Harvard, Marengo, Huntley and Lake in the Hills along with the McHenry County Board. He graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Reporting program in 2021. Ben is originally from Mundelein and enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with friends and family.