North Chicago Resident with Verbal Threat of Explosives, Firearms During Eviction

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During an eviction on Monday morning, August 9, 2021, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Division deputies encountered resistance from a male resident that occupied an apartment. Members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Divisions were enforcing an eviction at an apartment at 10:00 a.m. in the block of 1700 Sheridan Road, North Chicago. Although there is a moratorium on most evictions at the current time, there are exceptions. The eviction today was classified as one of the exceptions, as it was previously ordered and scheduled before the pandemic, then renewed, thus making it enforceable now. On July 14, 2021, sheriff’s deputies posted notice at the property to inform any occupants that the eviction order had been rescheduled to take place on August 9, 2021.

Three sheriff’s deputies arrived at the apartment and knocked on the door. The occupant of the apartment, a 58-year-old man, told the sheriff’s deputies that he knew why they were there, but he was not going to leave. The sheriff’s deputies explained the man would have to leave, due to the court order. The man told the sheriff’s deputies that he had a device rigged to his door, and if they entered, they would “be sorry,” and told them they should evacuate people from the building. The sheriff’s deputies could then hear what sounded like slides of firearms being racked, and believed the man was preparing firearms. The deputies then heard a loud pop sound.

Believing the man might have an explosive, the sounds like he was preparing firearms, and the loud noise, the deputies began evacuating the apartment building, while one of the deputies continued to communicate with the man through the door.

Numerous other deputies, the Lake County Sheriff’s Tactical Response Team, and North Chicago Police Officers responded to the scene.

Lake County Sheriff’s Negotiators spent just over an hour communicating with the man. During the negotiations, the man indicated he did not have explosives, and he just made the comment about having a device to keep the deputies from entering his apartment. The negotiators continued their communication and the man voluntarily surrendered.

“This was incredibly concerning and downright scary to all of the occupants in the apartment building. I could not be prouder of all of our staff involved in this incident, for their quick actions of evacuating all of the building’s occupants to safety and also showing tremendous restraint in their interaction with this man. There is no doubt, this incident could have ended much differently if it were not for the professionalism, training, and experience of my staff.”

— Sheriff John D. Idleburg

The Waukegan Fire Department Bomb Squad arrived on the scene and verified there were no explosives inside the apartment.

Further investigation revealed the man was attempting ‘suicide by cop.’ He said he planned on pointing a gun at deputies when they entered the home, in hopes the deputies would shoot him. The pop noise the deputies heard is believed to be a firework the man ignited.

The man was transported to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation and future charges are likely.



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