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Man Institutionalized After Oak Forest Standoff Hoax

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Oak Forest Hoax

Police were in a three-hour standoff with a man in Oak Forest Friday, only to find out later that he was in a bar all the time and his house was empty. (Credit: CBS)

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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.

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