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Suspect in Rockford hostage situation has violent past

ROCKFORD (WREX) — We are learning more about the suspect in a hostage situation in Rockford and his violent criminal history.

Nicholas August, 39, of Rockford is charged with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated unlawful restraint, after Rockford Police say he entered Heritage Credit Union and held a woman hostage for hours.

The hostage situation ended peacefully around 9 p.m.

13 WREX has learned through court records that August was released from the Boone County Jail in November; he was charged with a felony in December 2019; and just more than a week after a warrant was issued for his arrest, police named him as the gunman in the hostage situation in Rockford.

According to court records, August was released from the Boone County Jail in November of 2019 after pleading guilty to a felony domestic battery charge. He completed his sentence with credit for time previously served in the jail. After his release, court records show he was charged again in December with a felony in Winnebago County based off of a domestic battery incident involving strangulation.

While a warrant was filed for his arrest, Winnebago County officials say he was never taken into custody.

The latest string of accused violent crime comes on the heels of a lifelong violent history.

Before the hostage situation, August was on the most-wanted list for the Rockford Area Crime Stoppers because of that December 2019 accusation of domestic battery involving strangulation.

Since 2004, he's faced six felony charges and has been found guilty of three of them in Boone and Winnebago counties. Those crimes include domestic battery convictions as well as an incident in 2011 where he faced unlawful restraint and child endangerment charges. He would eventually be found guilty of endangering the life of a child and resisting a peace officer.

On top of the felony charges, August has been charged with more than a dozen misdemeanors in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties.

August has also had 11 order of protections filed against him by eight different people. The first order of protection dates back to 2004, with a most recent one filed in 2017.

Officials took August into custody on Friday evening, and say he is still under investigation. Federal charges could still be filed.

13 WREX will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available.

Audrey Moon

Audrey is the news director at 13 WREX. She’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and joined the team at 13 WREX in 2014.

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