DeKALB – Reports of a possibly armed man fleeing on Interstate 88 caused a stir online and around DeKalb County on Sunday, although interim DeKalb Police Chief John Petragallo said police believe the man is no longer in the county.
Petragallo said Monday that his department was warned early Sunday by the Illinois State Police and the Joliet and Plainfield police departments that a person of interest was likely headed their way.
He said that police in those areas say that either late Saturday or early Sunday, the man was being sought in connection with a stolen vehicle, as well as for fleeing the scene of a medical call in the stolen vehicle.
The man was believed to be headed west on I-88 toward DeKalb. He was described as a white man wearing a camouflage-patterned jacket, blue jeans and white shoes.
“That’s enough for me, after all that happened, and we’re told he might be armed, that we should get this out to the public,” Petragallo said Monday. “They had a clothing description and we notified the public in the event they saw suspicious activity.”
Petragallo said the man was then involved in an accident on I-88 and fled the vehicle on foot.
“Illinois State Police investigated the crash where they ended up finding out that this vehicle was stolen,” Petragallo said, adding that police had reason to believe the man was armed.
Petragallo then made the decision to have the city of DeKalb send out a safety text alert to those residents signed up to receive them. One was sent around 8 a.m. and the other shortly after, with a more specific description.
A third was sent around 4 p.m. Sunday assuring residents that police believed the man was no longer in the area.
Petragallo said he isn’t sure whether the man has been located by other law enforcement agencies.
“We do have reason to believe that he is out of our area,” Petragallo said. “There are a number of investigations going on, one with Joliet, one in Planfield, I’m sure ISP has got their own. Our involvement is trying to make sure that when this person is in the outskirts of our community, we better notify folks.”