Illinois trio charged with beating, strangling police officer over traffic stop

Aurora Police chief said she will not allow city to become place 'where criminals feel emboldened'

Two women and a man in Illinois' second largest city outside Chicago are facing felony charges after allegedly beating and strangling a police officer who pulled them over for a traffic stop. 

The Aurora Police Department announced Tuesday that 28-year-old Paul Sherrod, 24-year-old Jennifer Taylor and 26-year-old Sheba Taylor have each been charged with aggravated battery, resisting or obstructing a police officer causing injury and aggravated assault of a peace officer. 

A male officer, whose name has not been released, performed a traffic stop on Sherrod around 10:30 p.m. Monday after he allegedly rolled through a stop sign near the intersection of Plum Street and Randall Road near West Aurora High School, Fox 32 Chicago reported.  

The vehicle, with two passengers inside later identified as Jennifer and Sheba Taylor, pulled into a driveway in the 600 block of North Elmwood Drive, and "the driver began yelling obscenities out the window," according to a press release from the police department. 

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A woman in the back seat then got out of the vehicle, and the officer "ordered her back into the car several times before informing her that she was under arrest for obstructing," police said. Before she was taken into custody, Sherrod, continuing to yell obscenities, exited the vehicle, approached the officer and told the officer he would fight him if he touched the female passenger. 

The officer informed the driver that he was also under arrest for obstructing, and at that moment, Sherrod took off running and the officer ran after him. A second woman exited the vehicle and both Sheba and Jennifer Taylor ran after the officers yelling obscenities. 

It’s unclear which Taylor was initially in the back seat during the traffic stop, but police said "the female rear passenger approached the officer as they ran," and the officer then "turned around and grabbed her arm to take her into custody, but she slipped out of his grip." 

Both women "then began striking the officer with closed fists and kicking his body and head," police said. "The officer heard a male’s voice and then was struck repeatedly in the head from several angles." The female passenger "placed her forearm around the officer’s neck and applied significant force to his windpipe, causing him to lose the ability to breathe," according to the department. 

From left to right, Jennifer Taylor, Sheba Taylor and Paul Sherrod.

From left to right, Jennifer Taylor, Sheba Taylor and Paul Sherrod.

"Our Aurora police officers are entrusted with keeping our community safe from harm. I am at a loss of words when an officer is physically attacked from something that would have been a simple traffic ticket," Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said in a statement. "We will not allow our city to become a place where criminals feel emboldened, and lawlessness ensues."

"This type of lawlessness and violence against our police officers cannot and will not be tolerated," Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin said in his own statement. "This was an act of malice and cowardice and I will absolutely seek that the perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Let’s keep this officer in our prayers as the officer makes a full and complete recovery."

Additional officers arrived to the scene and placed the three suspects in custody. Aurora Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and transported the officer to an area hospital. 

Aurora Police’s Investigations Division responded to the scene, interviewed the subjects, and gathered numerous pieces of evidence. Detectives presented the case to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, which authorized the felony charges against the three suspects. 

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All three suspects appeared in Kane County Bond Call Tuesday morning. Bail for each of the Taylors was set at $50,000, with 10% to apply for bond. Sherrod's bail was set at $75,000, also with 10% to apply for bond. Each suspect has a separate court date scheduled in July.