An ongoing standoff in Waukegan began Tuesday morning after a man barricaded the front door of a residence and then sprayed a stream of fire at deputies when they forced entry, officials said.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process Team attempted to serve a mental health writ on a 38-year-old man around 9:40 a.m. Tuesday in the 1-100 block of Philippa Avenue in Waukegan.
A mental health writ is an order for police to take an individual into custody and transport them to a mental health facility.
Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said that as civil process deputies attempted to make entry, they realized the front door of the residence, which is a home split into apartments, was barricaded shut.
The landlord gave sheriff’s deputies permission to force entry through the front door, which leads to a common area of the home, Covelli told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
The 38-year-old man was standing at the top of the stairway and sprayed lighter fluid through a lighter, causing a stream of fire to spray onto the sheriff’s deputies. The deputies were not burned because they had a shield protecting them, Covelli said.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said that Washington Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Jackson Street is closed due to the incident.
Area schools were put on a precautionary soft lockdown, which included Waukegan High School Washington Campus, Abbott Middle School, Juarez Middle School and Career Academy AOEC. Students have since been dismissed from school.
Covelli said that the incident continues to remain very active as of 4 p.m. Tuesday as several sheriff’s office teams continue to negotiate with the man to safely exit the home.
The surrounding area is not believed to be in danger as the situation is confined to the home, Covelli said.