After six hours, three arrested in Chicago standoff that crippled Red Line service

December 6, 2011

City Room and AP Wires

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CHICAGO — Federal authorities say a nearly six-hour standoff with police that affected public transportation on Chicago's North Side is over after three people peacefully surrendered in the Uptown neighborhood Monday night.

Authorities say the standoff started with the arrest of a man in a firearms investigation on Monday afternoon. Three people then barricaded themselves in a building at 4639 N. Broadway after agents tried to question them.

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman Thomas Ahern says the standoff ended just before 10 p.m.

According to police, authorities at the scene were trying to negotiate a safe outcome. No injuries were reported.

The Chicago Transit Authority stopped some trains and rerouted others in the area after 4 p.m., right in the middle of the evening rush-hour commute. Full service wasn't restored until shortly after 10 p.m.

The CTA shut down the Red Line between the Addison and Berwyn stops, as well as the Purple Line Express.  The trains en route south of Addison, however were idled/delayed for considerable amounts of time. 

Commuters took to Twitter to voice much of their discontent during their prolonged commute, with some complaining of delays as long as 30 minutes.

The CTA had informed passengers that there was "police activity" on the Wilson Red Line stop and that there would be buses to shuttle passengers.

The scarcity of information with the presence of police in SWAT gear had led some on social media to believe that there was a "hostage situation."

Police sources have said that residents and building owners in nearby buildings were asked to stay indoors for their own safety, and the area surrounding the builing on the 4600 north block of Broadway was barricaded from the public.

Ald. James Cappleman (46th), whose ward includes the Uptown neighborhood, also took to Twitter, making regular updates. "Getting word situation is still ongoing. Please avoid the wilson and broadway area," one of his Tweets said.