WILLIAMSON COUNTY, ILLINOIS (NewsFirst) — Non-Custodial Parental Child Abduction & Endangering The Life Or Health Of A Child

Hurst, Illinois – On February 27, 2024, at 1529 hours Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Williamson Street in Hurst.

Ricky A. Cooper, known to Deputies from prior law enforcement contact, was observed operating a four wheeler on a public roadway holding a 3 year old child without a helmet.

Upon observing Deputies attempting to stop him, Cooper disobeyed multiple stop signs and fled.

Deputies immediately terminated the traffic stop to avoid endangering the child.

Deputies discovered that Cooper is the child’s father however, he does not have custodial rights and had picked him up from the child’s grandparents.

After Cooper failed to return home with the child upon nightfall Deputies began following up on leads throughout the community.

During this time more than a dozen members of the community responded believing the child was lost; unaware that the child was with his father.

At 2110 hours, family members advised that Cooper had contacted them and wanted the child picked up and would then surrender to law enforcement.

At 2130 hours, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were notified the child was picked up by his grandmother.

Moments later Cooper was taken into custody. While speaking with Cooper he stated that the four wheeler he had been riding was stolen.

The stolen ATV has not been recovered and Deputies are continuing to search for it.

Cooper was cited for the following:

Aggravated Fleeing And Eluding A Peace Officer

(Class 4 Felony)

Child Abduction

(Class 4 Felony)

Obstructing Justice

(Class 4 Felony)

Endangering The Life Or Health Of A Child

(Class A Misdemeanor)

Driving Wile License Revoked

(Class A Misdemeanor)

Stop Sign (x2)

Operating An ATV On Roadway

Operating Uninsured Motor Vehicle

Cooper was transported to and remanded into the custody of the Williamson County Jail.

If you have any information concerning this or any other investigation, please contact the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at 618.997.6541 or “Submit A Tip” on the Williamson County Sheriff’s App.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s App is a great way to keep informed and can be downloaded at the App Store (Apple/Iphone) or on Google Play (Android).

Your information is important, and those who “Submit a Tip” by using the Sheriff’s App may choose to remain anonymous.