Officials say a man with multiple active warrants made false 911 calls reporting persons with guns in an effort to distract officers away from him in Zion.
A Zion police officer on patrol around 10 a.m. Tuesday observed a gray Toyota Sienna pull over onto the shoulder of Kenosha Road near Highland Drive in Zion.
Zion Police Department Lt. Derek Zaloudek said the Toyota had smoke emitting from the engine compartment.
The officer parked to assist the broken-down car when the driver, later identified as Michael Scott, 31, of Waukegan, quickly abandoned the vehicle.
Scott walked westbound into the parking lot of a townhouse complex on Freedom Court, Zaloudek said.
A report of a person brandishing a gun at Salem Foods, 2439 Galilee Avenue, immediately came over the police officer’s radio.
Zaloudek said the officer did not have an opportunity to investigate the broken-down vehicle and left to assist officers with the person with a gun call.
Officers found nothing out of the ordinary at the store and spoke with witnesses in the parking lot and inside the business.
All of them said no such incident ever occurred, Zaloudek said.
It was learned the cell phone used to make the emergency call was pinging on Freedom Court in Zion.
Officers returned to the area of the disabled Toyota to investigate the correlation between the two incidents.
Zaloudek said they arrived and the same cell phone was again used to report another person with a firearm, this time at Dollar General, 2466 Sheridan Road in Zion.
Officers approached the Toyota and found Scott inside.
Zaloudek said officers asked Scott for his identity and he provided them with a fictitious identity.
Photographs were obtained with the information provided and officers determined Scott to be a different person.
They attempted to arrest him for further investigation but he unsuccessfully attempted to flee, resulting in minor injuries to an officer’s hand and knee, Zaloudek said.
Scott had active arrest warrants out of Lake County as a fugitive from justice and out of Lake County, Indiana for robbery. Officers also found heroin and fentanyl inside the Toyota.
They determined that Scott’s cell phone was the one used to report the two fake incidents on the opposite side of town, Zaloudek said.
Scott was charged with disorderly conduct for reporting a false emergency, obstructing justice for providing fictitious identification and a misdemeanor offense of resisting a peace officer.
None of his charges are detainable under Illinois’ SAFE-T Act but he was still transported to the Lake County Jail because of his outstanding warrants.