Gun arrest assisted by license plate reader

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Illinois – University of Illinois Police on Tuesday morning arrested a woman in Urbana after she allegedly displayed a handgun from the driver’s seat of her moving vehicle while traveling through campus.

Within minutes of the road rage incident, an automated license plate reader helped police find the alleged offender’s vehicle. Sashay S. Pirant, 37, of Rantoul, Illinois, ultimately was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon, disorderly conduct and aggravated assault.

Witness reports suggest that Pirant was driving on Kirby Avenue near Neil Street in Champaign around 10:44 a.m. Tuesday when she felt that another vehicle cut her off in traffic. The two vehicles drove near each other for several blocks, and then Pirant showed a handgun to the occupants of the other vehicle near Kirby Avenue and Fourth Street.

Pirant continued east on Kirby Avenue, and the other vehicle turned north to get away, call 911 and provide a description of the vehicle.

Within minutes, a Champaign Police officer notified University Police that a vehicle matching that description had just passed an automated license plate reader in Urbana. University Police went to that location and found Pirant’s vehicle near the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Iowa Street. Urbana Police assisted on the traffic stop.

Police found a handgun and ammunition in the vehicle. Pirant has a Firearm Owner’s Identification, but not a concealed carry permit.

Please note, those arrested are presumed innocent until proved guilty, and formal charges may change as cases are adjudicated.