(ELGIN) A man has been charged with misdemeanors after he allegedly threatened people with a gun and tried to shut down equipment at a northwestern suburban water reclamation plant Wednesday.
Craig W. Spohr, 44, of the 200 block of Elm Street in Waterman faces misdemeanor charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct, according to Elgin police. He remains hospitalized and will be arrested when he is released.
911 callers reported an armed man, possibly with a hostage, trying to shut down equipment just before noon at the Fox River Water Reclamation District at 875 Dana Dr. in Elgin, according to Elgin police.
Officers found the man, armed with a handgun, near the building and attempted to negotiate with him, police said. The man refused to surrender and officers used a rubber bullet, similar to a bean bag round, to incapacitate him.
Robert Trueblood, executive director of the Fox River Water Reclamation District, said the suspect is an employee who has worked at the plant for 25 years.
Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain, who worked as an engineer at the facility before retiring about eight years ago, said the plant, which does not treat drinking water, has only a minimal security system.
After Sept. 11, Elgin applied for and received federal grant money to fence in its water plants and to make other security improvements.
At the Elgin facilities, people have to be let in through the gates; non-employees must be buzzed into buildings; and there is camera monitoring activities throughout the sites.
According to the FRWRD website, it provides wastewater treatment to more than 150,000 people in Elgin, South Elgin, West Dundee, and portions of Sleepy Hollow, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates and unincorporated St. Charles township.