BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington man will be arraigned Aug. 28 on attempted first-degree and aggravated assault charges, stemming from what authorities say were random attacks on three people Wednesday afternoon in downtown Bloomington. 

Formal charges were leveled Thursday against Jason Hopkins, 35, of the 800 block of West Washington Street, who appeared at a bond hearing in McLean County Circuit Court via a video link with the jail.

Bond was set at $1 million, meaning he must post $100,025 to be released. He is being represented by the Public Defender's Office.

Sitting on a bench in the jail, Hopkins was handcuffed behind his back — an unusual measure, but taken because of concerns that he might become violent. When asked if he could pay the $100,000 bond, Hopkins "whether or not I can, I won't say" and began a long rambling statement about the incident that was halted by Associate Judge Pablo Eves.

The attempted murder charges accuse Hopkins of stabbing a man with a knife. The victim is a Pantagraph employee who was working outside the building about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 300 block of West Jefferson Street. He remains hospitalized with two stab wounds.

Another man was allegedly stabbed by Hopkins prior to that attack. He was a tourist from Germany and was struck and then stabbed in the knee as he stood near the McLean County Museum of History, according to the charges. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

“It was a terrible shock to be stabbed, but he is quite lucid, and we've had some good conversations,” museum Executive Director Greg Koos said Thursday.

The museum is paying for the tourist's food and lodging costs while he spends a couple more days recuperating at an area hotel.

“That was the intent of the museum, because he was in our city to visit the Route 66 visitors center,” said Koos.

A third man, 82, was allegedly knocked to the ground by Hopkins as he worked at the museum.

The aggravated battery counts relate to the stabbings of the two men and the minor injuries to the museum volunteer.

In a statement read in court by State's Attorney Jason Chambers, Hopkins is accused of assaulting the three victims in what appears to be random attacks.  The knife recovered by police and believed to be the weapon used is about 4 inches long, said Chambers.

In June, Hopkins was released on a non-cash bond in a pending retail theft and assault case. He was charged with stealing alcohol and taking a swing at a worker at a Bloomington mini-market.

His previous criminal history includes a 2005 arson conviction for which he was sentenced to five years in prison, and a 2000 conviction for resisting a police officer, criminal damage to property and retail theft. He served 30 months' probation on that charge.

Between 2000 and 2002, Hopkins was arrested on six misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct and trespassing.

Follow Edith Brady-Lunny on Twitter: @pg_blunny


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