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Waukegan Man Held After Turning Eviction Into Police Standoff

Robert Newberry

Robert Newberry is charged with threatening to kill law enforcement officers when they came to evict him from his apartment in Waukegan. (Credit: Lake County Sheriff’s office)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — A Waukegan man has landed in jail after turning a routine eviction into a tense police standoff.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports, after Robert Newberry, 41, was served eviction papers at his apartment in the 500 block of Ridgeland Avenue in Waukegan, police were told he posted a message on Facebook threatening to kill the officers who would be coming to kick him out of his apartment.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports

The anonymous source that contacted Waukegan police said Newberry’s posting was signed; “Blaze of Glory.” The tipster also said Newberry was a “down on his luck Gulf War veteran.”

Police did, in fact, come to the apartment several times, but they were threatened with violence each time.

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies first tried to call Newberry on his cell phone, but the number was disconnected.

Sheriff’s deputies and Waukegan police officers then showed up to the building where he lived around 10:20 a.m. Tuesday after having the landlord temporarily evacuate Newberry’s neighbors else from the building. Police shouted toward his second floor apartment through a bullhorn.

Newberry responded that he would not leave, and after sheriff’s deputies attempted to get him out again, he said he would kill any deputy that came to the door, police said.

Police surrounded the building and formed a perimeter, going to the point of evacuating neighboring homes and businesses and shutting down roads. But eventually, they decided just to come back the next day.

Before returning, sheriff’s police obtained an arrest warrant for aggravated assault, resisting a peace officer and criminal trespass to real property – both because Newberry refused to leave his apartment and because he threatened the officers, police said.

Around 9:15 a.m., sheriff’s deputies came back. This time, Newberry spoke to the deputies, saying he had food and beverages, but no heat or electricity. But when eviction came up, Newberry got angry and aggressive, so the deputies left.

Finally, at 1 p.m. Wednesday, the deputies returned with a McDonald’s lunch and information on how he could find alternative housing. Finally, he surrendered to sheriff’s deputies around 1:45 p.m.

Deputies and investigators have been working with Newberry, his family and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to find alternative housing for Newberry, although for now, the Lake County Jail is the place he’s calling home.

Newberry apologized to the deputies for his actions, and the $50,000 bond attached to his arrest warrant was cut to $10,000. But he remains in the Lake County Jail.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.