Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Secret Service agent causes commotion on Metra this morning

The question is, was he on official business or was he just being "suspicious?"

Daily Herald: Secret Service agent triggered scare aboard Metra train
By Marni Pyke | Daily Herald Staff

A U.S. Secret Service agent apparently triggered a false alarm this morning that delayed thousands of suburban Metra commuters.

Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said the Secret Service agent was preparing to board the train at Naperville's Fifth Avenue station when he told the ticket agent he was carrying a gun and asked if there were metal detectors on the system.

He did not provide the ticket agent with any identification. She alerted police.

Chicago Tribune: Secret Service agent was 'suspicious' Metra rider
The suspicious person who forced an unscheduled stop for a Metra train this morning and a search of its passengers was a U.S. Secret Service agent, a source close to the situation told the Tribune.

The agent has been identified by police, the source said, who said there had been some "confusion" on the part of the ticket agent whose report sparked a nearly two-hour delay on Metra's BNSL Line.

The incident stopped train service in the western suburbs this morning as police armed with semiautomatic rifles evacuated and searched train passengers at the Lisle station.

Chicago Sun-Times: West suburban Metra trains running again after morning security delays
January 14, 2009

Thousands of Metra passengers had their morning commutes delayed for up to two hours Wednesday morning as police investigated reports of a suspicious man who may have been on a west suburban train.

Just before 8 a.m. Wednesday a suspicious person was hanging around the main Naperville train station at 105 4th Ave. and, according to a ticket agent at the station, asking "unusual questions relating to security," Naperville police Cmdr. Dave Hoffman said.

The ticket agent was unsure whether the man left the station on foot or got on a train. The train he would have gotten on was Metra Burlington Northern Santa Fe train No. 1252. When that train got to Lisle, it was stopped and police have been looking for the man.

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