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Indian Trail Student Fabricated Story About Being Restrained By Intruder

Incident led to a response that "overwhelmed the community," police said.

OUTSIDE CHICAGO -- The student who had reportedly been restrained by an intruder in a bathroom at a local junior high school on Friday has admitted to fabricating the story, police said Monday.

"The internal report received by the police department from the school indicated a student was restrained in the restroom by an intruder," Addison Police Director Bill Hayden said during a press conference. "During the course of the investigation, the student admitted to fabricating the story. An in-depth investigation revealed that at no time was the security at Indian Trail Junior High School breached."

The information police initially received led to an "overwhelming" response by the Addison police department (located across the street from the school), DuPage County and other mutual aid departments, and the school was placed on lock-down for several hours. The area was "flooded with resources" to make sure the students and staff were safe, he said. 

He said he didn't know the cost of the operation, but that "a lot of people were involved."

"Steps were taken immediately to ensure the safety of the students and staff, which included a lock-down procedure," he said. "Notification to parents was made via an all-call message within an hour and a half. … As soon as the police were able to confirm there was no intruder, an all-clear message was given and the lock-down released."

He said police knew with certainty that the story was fabricated by Friday evening.

When pressed as to whether the student was ever actually restrained, Hayden said, "I don't want to go into the specifics because it deals with a student, but the circumstances led us to believe that there could have been an intruder in the school. And that's why you got the response."

The message for students will be to always tell the truth, he said.

"By fabricating stories, it could create a response that overwhelms people, overwhelms the community, overwhelms parents," Hayden said. "We had a lot of scared people out there worrying about their kids."

Addison District 4 Superintendent John Langton said when students return to school on Tuesday, staff will discuss with them what happened, and the importance of telling the truth and not spreading rumors. 

"Most important out of all of this is to make sure nobody, adults or children, contribute to rumors or speculation that are often spread during these types of incidents," Langton said. "That could be by word of mouth, email, texting, social media. Any of that type of activity leads to an interruption of an investigation."

School and police handling of the situation was "executed with precision," Hayden said.

"We acted swiftly and appropriately considering the information we had at the time," he said. "This whole situation validated all our training, protocol, procedures, everything we have done together in cooperation in the past with the school district. So, it was a positive outcome to an unfortunate circumstance."

Langton said students undergo training drills for emergency situations every school year and that they behaved in a mature fashion on Friday.

"This whole unfortunate incident really did give us the opportunity to demonstrate all the training students and staff go through to make sure we can maintain a safe environment for our students," he said. "The only better outcome would have been it not happening at all."

Both the school and police will "de-brief" over the next couple of weeks to find any areas that could have been handled better.

"The initial critique was that it was handled well," Hayden said. "We had an overwhelming situation that required a lot of resources in a short period of time, and we cleared up that whole situation within about three to four hours. We're going to look a lot closer at that over the next couple of weeks. I think there's always room for improvement."

Officials refused to say if the student offered any reason or rationale for the fabrication, or whether disciplinary action would be taken. But Hayden did say the family was "extremely cooperative."

"They were a big part of this, helping to resolve it, getting to the truth," he said. "They do deserve credit. They helped us and they're very sorry for what happened."

Pamela Redmond October 08, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Really! Has anyone seen how police interview juvies. They can get these juvies to say anything they want to hear. I think something stinks in this story. I have spoken to an individual that was there. This person confirms my fear. Come on people start asking questions, our kids are not safe.
Amber October 09, 2012 at 12:34 PM
I could tell you as a parent of this district there are MANY things that need to be improved and still need to be answered. The district has a lot of explaining to do.. how was it that this child was able to leave class for extended amount of time? why did it take as long as it did for a message to go out to parents that the school was on a hard lock down and why didn't a message go out to the elementary parents that their schools were on a soft lock down? I've heard many parents complain about how the staff treated and spoke to them when they were scared and wanting to pick up there children from the school. Very disappointed in the district at this time!
Eri October 09, 2012 at 01:18 PM
How do we know that this wasn't just a ruse the POLICE are using to get training in a what if scenario? That the student was used by the police to do this? Something stinks...
Elmhurst Resident October 09, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I don't get it ....how could she restrain herself?
Bregan October 09, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I have a student at one of the elementary schools. I received an automated phone call 1/2 hour after the incident. I do believe the school responded the way they should have. Since Columbine, all schools follow certain protocol as to what to do if there is a threat is an internal threat. While I understand that a parent's first reaction is to see if their child is safe, going to the school to "pick them up" is not an option. Doing so would create more chaos and probably result with someone getting seriously injured. I do believe ASD 4 needs improvement. I'm sure the respondants above are more knowledgable about the school district than I am. The real problem here is why did this student fabricate the story? She caused a lot of confusion and worry. Time and money wasted that "we" have to pay for. Someone needs to find out why she made up this story and see that she's properly held accountable for this.
ConcernedParent October 09, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I’m a parent of young ones in this town who are not yet students in this school system. I’ve been closely evaluating it and have not seen or read much positive things about it. This adds to my already growing concern. No matter how you cut it, this is a bad situation. Sure, it’s good to know there was no immediate threat to the staff or students, but what could possibly cause this child to fabricate such a story. Whether it was out of fear and maybe her way to escape from a situation, or a dare, or a prank… whatever the reason, it’s alarming. It appears to me the school system is not in touch with its students. I understand there are problems everywhere, but the track record here is not the greatest and has me seriously considering other options.
Indian Trail Parent October 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM
My daughter was there in class and she was so scared when i went to pick her up she didnt feel safe at all during the "hard kock down" this all happened at about 9:44 a.m and i didn't get the message till 11:58 a.m. why so late about letting us know and the message i got was that a someone was around the school not IN the school.So I think the addison police is covering up something!!!!
Addison Parent October 09, 2012 at 06:08 PM
As a parent in District 4, I say KUDOS to the school district and police department! Yes, it's scary when you think your child may be in harm's way, but runnng to the school when there is a lock down gets you nowhere; only adds to the confusion. Let the police do their job, parents! The school and police reacted quickly and appropriately given the information they had. You never want to assume a child is lying (that's like blaming the victim), so they had to take the alleged threat seriously, do all they could to protect the minor who claimed to have been held captive, and keep all the students safe. The entire incident is unfortunate, but why the student made up the entire story does not need to be made public. Does it matter? I do hope this minor will be made accountable for this bad decision so others don't attempt this in the future. I do trust that the police and school administration will take appropriate steps to assure that will be the case.
Ed October 09, 2012 at 07:17 PM
A school full of kids whose parents all had to be called and you're pi$$ed because they didn't put you at the top of the list. What makes you think you are more special that the next set of parents? Their first priority is the welfare of the kids, calling parents comes later on the list of things to do.
Karen Chadra (Editor) October 09, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Comment deleted for violating our terms of use.
Ed October 09, 2012 at 07:46 PM
This is not rocket science. Kid is counted as present in first class but lingers in restroom between class till she is alone, then ties herself up and waits till found. Kid is counted as absent in second class. It takes a finite amount of time to determine that a kid that was present in first class but is absent from second class. This is not an instantaneous process. Likewise the parent call-up is not instantaneous. Even auto call takes time to get ahold of several hundred parents. Parents come to the school and just add to the confusion because they want their kids RIGHT NOW and that is not going to happen until the authorities are sure it is safe.
Ralph October 09, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Why was the suspect described as a White Male if the police knew there was no suspect?(as reported by Patch) is this another case of Safia Z. Jilani? Just asking?
Karen Chadra (Editor) October 09, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Apparently, that's a description the police initially were given. They didn't know for sure there was no suspect until later that evening. Police will not go into details because the student is a minor.
Ralph October 09, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Thanks for the follow up Karen!
CJM October 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Exactly, you are right on point.
Expose Them October 09, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Huh? C'mon, people!...Why is it that so many adults (?) can't believe that this just another case of a troubled young teen desperate for attention at any cost?
Lived in 5 other metro areas... October 10, 2012 at 02:19 AM
As the parent of a teen that suffers from depression, adhd, and several other fairly minor disorders, I feel for all involved. There is impulses for adolescents that you need to see to believe! Parents of young children, stay close to your kids, know their friends and their parents. If we did not know our child the way we do, we could have been that family and in someways we are. Life is not easy for these kids. Have compassion for this child and her family. Siblings suffer as does the child. Shame and oh, countless other emotions will be skin deep for this family. Pray they have insurance, good friends, mentors, patience, etc.
Lisa October 14, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Just one question...how did the student restrain herself? Im assuming her hands were tapped too? Also where did she even get all this tape? I believe there either was an intruder or she had help from a classmate.
JAM October 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM
@ Lisa, the report did not indicate what the student used to restrain herself, whether it was tape, rope, shoelaces, belts, etc. I think it's possible she used her mouth to secure things? Why all the paranoia amongst these comments? Sounds to me like the police and school acted appropriately.
Wil October 21, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Way to waste man hours and resources. Should have left the girl there, after finding out she made it up.

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