Some Evanston schools were briefly disrupted Tuesday after a report of a man wielding a knife against hostages, though authorities who responded found no such incident taking place.

Just after 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, Evanston Police Department officers responded to a distress call regarding an incident in the 1600 block of Hinman Avenue near Davis Street.

According to EPD Sgt. Ken Carter, an elderly parent called the police warning that her son was armed with a knife, had barricaded himself in a residence on Hinman and was holding hostages. When EPD arrived on the scene, though, officers found no evidence of the alleged incident.

“Upon investigation, it was determined that the information provided by the caller was not credible,” Carter said. “It was also discovered that the caller suffers from dementia. No citizens or police officers were injured as a result of this incident.  The caller was later transported to an area hospital for a psychological evaluation.”

The alarm caused by the call, however, and the subsequent police presence in the area triggered a disrupt dismissal for at least some District 65 schools nearby. At Nichols Middle School, an assistant principal said over the loudspeaker that no one would be allowed to enter or exit the building for an unknown period of time. Students were dismissed a few minutes after the typical 3:05 p.m. end of the school day.

“We have been advised by the Evanston Police Department that the area is secure and all students can be safely dismissed at the regular time,” District 65 Assistant Superintendent Terrance Little wrote in an email to families shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. “For students traveling to that area, there may be police present and individuals who are able to support students who may be moving through.”

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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...