Two people attacked in residence by assailant Saturday in Sterling

City of Sterling Police squad car.

STERLING — A woman and a man at a Sterling residence were attacked by an assailant who is suspected of also starting a fire in an attached garage, Sterling Police Department said.

A suspect was taken into custody at the scene and the two victims were treated and transported to the hospital after police responded to the incident at 6:31 a.m. Saturday at a home in the 800 block of West 19th Street.

Map of the 800 block of West 19th Street in Sterling.

A news release by Sterling Police Department Chief Alejandro Chavira said police detained Matthew R. Martinez, 27, of Sterling, who was outside the residence when police arrived.

Police said the suspect has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery and a count of home invasion.

A preliminary investigation by Sterling police indicated the suspect started a fire and then forced his way into the home and assaulted the man and woman inside. Police believe the suspect and the female victim had a prior relationship.

Police rendered first aid to the victims, who were bleeding from stab wounds and lacerations. Emergency medical service from CGH Medical Center arrived.

Sterling Fire Department arrived and extinguished the active fire in the garage.

The report said the female victim was taken to CGH Medical Center and treated for wounds that were not life threatening.

The reporte added that the male was transferred from CGH to a Rockford hospital. His condition was not known at the time of the report.

Investigators from Illinois State Police and the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal responded to the incident.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.