Man Institutionalized After Oak Forest Standoff Hoax

OAK FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — A man has been taken to an institution, after pulling a hoax in Oak Forest last week by making police think he was an armed and dangerous hostage-taker.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports, there were still no charges against the man as of Sunday afternoon.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports

Oak Forest Mayor Hank Kuspa says the man is now being evaluated in an institution, as police review tapes of what happened on Thursday afternoon.

The 44-year-old man was purported to be suicidal with firearms at his side, and threatening to harm others. There was even a report that he had a hostage.

About 100 police officers from Oak Forest and 20 surrounding suburbs rushed to the man’s home in the 5500 block of Babette Court, near 162nd Street and Central Avenue.

A long and dramatic ordeal followed. About a dozen families were evacuated from their homes, and Kuspa went out personally to pick up pizzas for the families. A bus the suburb used for senior citizens was pressed into service as a warming center for the families, Kuspa said.

Roads were blocked off, including busy Central Avenue between 159th and 163rd streets, and neighbors half a block away found themselves inconvenienced.

Altogether, the standoff lasted six hours. Police got a hold of the man and spoke to him on his cell phone, as other officers stood in front of his house with a bullhorn.

But there was one problem. Nobody was in the house.

The man was really on his cell phone at a bar, pretending to be at his house.

Following the incident, Kuspa called the man’s actions “unconscionable.” He said the stunt wasted about $65,000 to $75,000 just on payroll for about 100 officers at the scene not to mention the police vehicles that were dispatched.

“This little farce was very costly in hard economic times,” Kuspa said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • Dawgman

    Here’s a great idea after spending $75,000 on this ordeal, let’s spend more money by putting him in an institution for a few years.

  • ChicagoCitizen

    It wasn’t his fault the police came to his house. Once he was contacted by cell phone, he obviously just played it out, making the police look foolish. And don’t forget, all these officers were already on duty, being paid. At the end of the day, the only harm done was the police looking like idiots for blowing the whole thing out of proportion.

  • Bud

    There is a big difference between being hammered and being nuts. This guy was probably hammered and thought the whole thing was hilarious. Bet he isn’t laughing now as he starts drying out and his addicted a$$ is locked up and he can’t get a drink.

  • smooth

    Any chance of getting an itemized billing cost for this expense.

    Can someone respond and lets examine these costs.

    • James

      Subtract all manpower costs, these officers were already on duty and being paid anyway. The police should have confirmed there was a crisis before involving so many people. If anyone needs to explain, it’s the guy who called in the false report to begin with.

  • Julletta

    It is a good thing that this man has been institutionalezed because he is a menace to society as a whole. 75 thouosand sollars is not enough to spend on some nut? Of course it is. These people are drugged and come from alcoholic parents and mos of them come from broken homes where the parents were absent and there was no food on the table. What do you expect from a person who is broke, no job, laid off from more than 2 lyears and has no place to go…
    What would you do if you were on his shoes?

  • Bill S.

    How can you be put in an institution by the GD cops? (Just because he punked them). Wake up people … your liberties are being washed away!

    • Mr. Justice

      @ Bill S. I totally agree with you. Too many people are brainwashed to be submissive and not to ask questions. I think what he did was wrong, BUT that doesn’t mean he need to be in an institution. I just commented on another story here on CBS, and they did not put it on the website. Probably because I believe in the 2nd Amendment.

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