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Illinois staff member arrested for pointing gun at fellow coaches
A member of the Illinois coaching staff has been charged after allegedly pointing an unloaded handgun at a vehicle carrying other staff members.
Matt Sinclair, Illinois’ assistant director of player personnel and relations, was arrested Saturday and charged with four counts of unlawful use of weapons after he allegedly pointed a gun.
The incident occurred following Illinois’ win over Purdue.
Sinclair, who played linebacker for the Illini from 2001-04, was arrested at around 3 p.m. Saturday after a witness in a car behind Sinclair claimed he aimed a gun at a blue SUV. The SUV contained other full-time football staff members, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Police say Sinclair said he pointed the gun as a joke.
“We’re aware of the current situation concerning staff member Matt Sinclair,” Illinois coach Tim Beckman said in a statement.
“He clearly had a lapse in judgment after returning to Champaign-Urbana on Saturday. He is in the early stages of the legal process. We’re still gathering all the information about the incident and I don’t intend to comment further at this time.”
Sinclair appeared in court for arraignment Monday, facing faces three Class 4 felony charges each punishable by one to three years in prison. He also faces a fourth charge for possession of brass knuckles, a Class A misdemeanor.
The case was delayed until Dec. 3 so that Sinclair can obtain counsel, authorities said.
In 2004, Sinclair was convicted of battery and served a year of probation.