Man arrested for October retail store stabbing

URBANA, Illinois – University of Illinois Police on Thursday arrested a man who stabbed a store clerk during an Oct. 26 retail theft attempt off campus.

At the time, the incident prompted a campuswide Illini-Alert notification sent to all students, faculty and staff.

Police initially were called at 3:53 a.m. Oct. 26 by a store employee at Circle K, 51 E. Green St., Champaign, who reported that he was stabbed when he stopped a man who attempted to take alcohol from the store without paying. The employee sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

A U. of I. Police officer identified a potential suspect, Otha Parker Jr., 56, of Urbana, through speaking with community members familiar with the incident. A detective was then able to confirm Parker’s involvement based on follow-up information received during the investigation.

On Thursday, U. of I. Police investigators interviewed Parker, who said he was involved. Parker was arrested for aggravated battery and taken to the Champaign County Jail, where he remained as of Thursday afternoon.

U. of I. Police are continuing to provide a highly-visible presence in the off-campus Green Street area after this incident and two shots fired incidents that prompted Illini-Alert warnings in October. Arrests have now been made in two of those three. The third incident – an Oct. 29 shooting in the 600 block of South Third Street – remains under investigation.

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