Arrests made in robbery

By Lauren Duncan

Three students were arrested in connection with an armed robbery on campus, according to information from the university.

Two men with handguns wearing ski masks pushed a male and female victim into the female’s 17th-floor room in Neely Hall at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to an email from SIU Department of Public Safety. The two men proceeded to take cash and a cell phone before they fled to the stairwell.

Martin E. Tabb, 18, of Chicago; David L. Townsel, 18, of South Holland; and Darius M. Bell, 19, of Chicago, all freshmen special admission pre-majors, were arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated robbery, home invasion and residential burglary, according to information from Rod Sievers, university spokesman.


A press release from the Jackson County state’s attorney said Bell and Tabb were arrested Wednesday, but the release did not mention any charges against Townsel.

A phone call to the state’s attorney on the arrest of Townsel was not returned. Todd Sigler, director of DPS, said Townsel was arrested Thursday morning.

Sievers said all three students resided at Neely Hall.

Chancellor Rita Cheng addressed the incident at the SIU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday.

“This was not … anything for students who were not involved to be concerned

about,” she said. “This was isolated to a handful of students.”

The release states Bell’s and Tabb’s bail was set at $500,000 each. A prelimary hearing will be held Jan. 4 at the Illinois Circuit Court in Jackson County.


A Jackson County Jail representative said bail had not been set for Townsel, and he was in custody as of 4 p.m. Thursday on the same charges as Bell and Tabb.