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Decatur man faces charges after police say he shot at officer
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Decatur man faces charges after police say he shot at officer

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Cotton

Cotton. 

DECATUR — New details have emerged about the incident in which a fleeing Decatur man is accused of leveling his pistol at an approaching police officer’s squad car and firing at it.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said Sgt. Steve Hagemeyer — who made headlines two years ago when he was badly injured after his patrol car was smashed into by a drunk driver — did not return fire in the 1 a.m. Friday confrontation.

Instead, the affidavit describes the sergeant stopping within 150 feet of the alleged gunman, David M. Cotton, and illuminating him with his high beam lights as Cotton fled into a vacant lot in the 1100 block of East Leafland Avenue.

Hagemeyer is described as maintaining his position, cutting off any means of escape in that direction, as more police officers flooded into the area.

The affidavit said a police dog called Rex tracked Cotton to a nearby house where he was arrested without incident. Police said they recovered a bag of .40 caliber and .45 caliber ammunition but the affidavit makes no mention of locating the weapon used.

Cotton was jailed on preliminary charges of the aggravated discharge of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon. All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

Writing in the affidavit, Detective Adam Siefman said Hagemeyer had been on patrol in the 2600 block of North Jasper Street when he heard four or five gunshots and went to investigate.

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As he drove, police dispatchers said they were getting calls of shots fired in the 1000 block of East Leafland Avenue and Hagemeyer soon radioed back he'd heard another gunshot as he approached that area. He then located a man later identified as Cotton walking across the roadway in the 100 block of East Leafland and saw two muzzle flashes as the man fired two shots into the air, Siefman said.

“As Sgt. Hagemeyer continued driving eastbound toward the intersection (of East Leafland Avenue and North Illinois Street) the subject turned toward his vehicle, raised what appeared to be his right arm, and fired another shot toward his patrol vehicle,” said Siefman.

“Sgt. Hagemeyer could see the muzzle flash toward his direction.”

The affidavit notes Cotton has a previous conviction for possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number. Macon County Circuit Court records show he had pleaded guilty and was sent to prison for four years in 2016.

In the collision with the drunk driver two years ago in February 2018, news reports said Hagemeyer had been lucky to escape with his life when his patrol vehicle was rammed by the driver who had run a red light. The sergeant had to be cut free of the wreckage by firefighters and it took him weeks to recover from unspecified injuries subsequent police reports only described as “serious.”

A check of Macon County Jail records Monday showed that Cotton is being held with bail set at $750,000, meaning he must post $75,000 to be released.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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