A Western Illinois University student has been arrested for his involvement in Wednesday night's 9-1-1 hoax about a man with a gun, but police continue to search for a woman they say may have been involved in the incident.
Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker says officers arrested Alvin Montgomery, 25, on Thursday, charging him with disorderly conduct, making a false 9-1-1 call and attempt obstruction of justice for attempting to delete information from a cellular phone. Montgomery was taken into custody at WIU's Bayliss Hall, Barker said.
Police responded to Montgomery's listed residence at 509 West Murray Street around 6 p.m. Wednesday after a 9-1-1 call that claimed there was a man with a gun in the area. After a five hour search and several evacuations, no armed man was ever found.
Following his arrest, several residents in the neighborhood are happy to see a suspect behind bars.
"They said they wanted me to vacate the house because of the possibility of gun fire," said Grace Baker, who lived right next to the house where the prank call originated. "He's an idiot."
Across the street, Beth Donahue couldn't get back in to her house during the incident and she's glad police hunted down the alleged prankster.
"He deserves to be punished for that," Donahue said. "I couldn't get on to my street for six hours, it was really frustrating, not that I wanted anything to happen to anyone, but because I couldn't get to my house for six hours because of a prank phone call."
WIU Director of University Relations Darcie Shinberger says Montgomery was registered as a sophomore student studying pre-law. She says he will also go through a separate judiciary process through the university as a registered student.
Barker says police continue to search for a woman they say may have been involved in the incident. Barker says the woman is believed to be an acquaintance of Montgomery's. Those with any information can contact the McDonough County CrimeStoppers Hotline at 309-836-3222. If your tip leads to an arrest, Barker says a cash reward is available.
Montgomery was lodged in the McDonough County Jail awaiting a hearing on the charges. Barker says police will seek restitution for the total cost of resources used in responding to the prank call.
Barker says Montgomery was also wanted on an outstanding warrant out of DeKalb County. Barker says Macomb police say they are also in the process of seeking charges for battery for Montgomery in relation to a fight he was allegedly involved in a few weeks ago.
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