View Full Version : Interesting day in my neighborhood

08-25-2005, 09:16 PM
The following little incedent tied up traffic through the evening in my neighborhood. I live less than a mile from where this guy abondoned his car. When I drove past Rte. 83 around 8:15 this evening, it was still blocked off. I hope they get this guy before I have to go to work in the morning, as of this moment, he is still holed up in a house.

"Police hunt robbery suspect :bandit:
Daily Herald Staff Report
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005

Police with rifles drawn closed off parts of Villa Park and Elmhurst this afternoon as they searched for a suspect believed to be armed and wanted in connection with a bank robbery in LaGrange.

Authorities said the suspect shot at two LaGrange squad cars, striking both, as he fled from the area after holding up a Harris Bank with a long rifle, possibly an automatic weapon.

He fled in a white, four-door Cadillac sedan, police said, and was tracked into the Elmhurst-Villa Park area.

Squad cars from several area suburbs and the DuPage County sheriff’s department are gathered at the scene, south and west of the intersection of Route 83 and North Avenue.

The suspect was believed to have entered a home in the area, which authorities have surrounded.

Marcelle Bright/Daily Herald
Northern Illinois Police Alarm System officers search Laidlaw buses near the area where a man barricaded himself in a Villa Park house after robbing the Harris Bank in LaGrange. Both the rail service and vehicular service were blocked in the area, near Villa Avenue and North Avenue in Villa Park.

Marcelle Bright/Daily Herald
A police officer protects the area where a man barricaded himself in a Villa Park house.

A man who identified himself as Welby MD and assistant manager at a Bassett Furniture store near the scene said squad cars began to gather near the area at about 12:30 p.m.

MD said he saw several officers return to their squad cars and retrieve rifles and bullet-resistant vests.

“They literally ran back to their vehicles and grabbed their rifles and vests,” he said.

Police have closed off stretches of major thoroughfares, including Route 83 between North Avenue and St. Charles Road and North Avenue between Route 83 and Addison Road.

Authorities were seen searching a wooded area near the southwest corner of Route 83 and North Avenue.

Gerald McInerney, owner of Napa Auto Parts store on Villa Avenue in Villa Park, said employees told him they heard gunshots.

Authorities were advising people in the area to remain inside their homes or businesses."

Nice, and it also screwed up my deliveries, and slowed our business. I hope he puts himself out of his misery. :whip:

08-25-2005, 10:11 PM
Very interesting, watch who you deliver too frett.

08-25-2005, 11:41 PM
Hopefully the police can shoot him before he does harm to anybody.

You know what Frett, they should fly in ZZ Top to play "La Grange", that would be cool. :cool:

08-26-2005, 03:04 PM
They had the streets still blocked this morning, and finally figured that Rte 83 was not in danger so they reopened it this afternoon. As far as the latest news goes, he is still in the house, and he is an ex marine. Well, at least it will be easier to get around with my deliveries this evening.

08-26-2005, 06:44 PM
You should file a law suit against him becuase he slowed down your deliveries and you couldnt make tips and such. It might work

08-27-2005, 10:32 PM
I can't, the guy shot himself to death, at least that is what they are saying. This all went down Friday evening, and the main roadways were cleared before rush hour.

08-27-2005, 11:36 PM
Just imagine if that was your house and you had some guy holed up in there. Then he dies in the house as well, WOW! That certainly is an interesting day but for all the wrong reasons.

08-28-2005, 05:03 PM
Just imagine if that was your house and you had some guy holed up in there. Then he dies in the house as well, WOW! That certainly is an interesting day but for all the wrong reasons.

Hey, just as long as he doesn't violate any of my Star Wars collection. I could just see coming back to the house, and he has ripped open each and every last one of my carded figures, or decides to use the lego sets for target practice.

The guy did kill the family dog of the house he took over. The rest of the family escaped unharmed. It was directly across the street from a house that I deliver to. I guess the F.B.I. took over that house as a base.

08-28-2005, 06:14 PM
That's awesome that the guy killed himself.

I just wish he would have done it sooner and not hurt the dog. :(

08-28-2005, 09:12 PM
Yes, lus he really affected some of the business's in the area around there, especially those that were blocked off by the police. My son and I drove by the house where this all went down, and every window in the place was boarded up, and they had a hole in one of the boards, that looked like it was venting out, not sure if it was because of the concussion gernades and tear gas they used to try to get the guy to come out. Haven't heard how long the guy was dead for before the police found the body. More excitement then I would care to have for some time.

08-28-2005, 09:23 PM
"Family thanks God, timing for survival
Three unharmed after standoff in their home"

By Jill Jedlowski
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2005

But for mere seconds, things could be quite different today for the Searer family.

In that brief moment, they were able to escape from their home near Villa Park after a suicidal gunman stormed it. They credit their survival to God — and their dog, Rosie.

The family’s beloved 4-year-old Labrador-mix was fatally shot as the gunman, 30-year-old Juan Silvas of Chicago, tried to silence her barking. Her noise, it would seem, provided the distraction 19-year-old Ben Searer needed to flee his home.

The family talked about their ordeal Saturday as they returned home to assess the damage and make sense of the dizzying details. While they have their work cut out for them in trying to restore order to their home, it’s a task the family of five said they are grateful to be able to undertake together.

They spent Saturday gathering personal items and talking with friends and family as a parade of strangers drove by to glimpse the house with boarded-up windows and police tape around it. They said they’re taking it in stride and trying to laugh about some of it now that the ordeal is over.

Photo by Paul Michna/Daily Herald Sarah Searer comforts her son Dustin Saturday after they returned to their home near Villa Park that was invaded by a gunman Thursday afternoon. A 27-hour police standoff ended Friday when police discovered the gunman had shot himself.

“That’s a big part of how I am,” said Ben, who was in the house when the gunman entered Thursday afternoon. “I laugh about things to get through them.”

The mood turned somber, though, when the family said good-bye to their beloved dog, Rosie, who was killed during the home invasion. The Searers held a private morning burial in the backyard for the dog, whom they say gave her life to protect theirs.

Rosie was fatally shot by the intruder as she barked to warn her masters of his presence. Silvas had barged into the house, located on Creekside Street near Villa Park, through the unlocked front door, said John Searer, Ben’s father who was at work in Wheaton at the time.

“That’s the toughest part,” he said of Rosie’s death. “It was her alerting and distracting the gunman that saved others. She worked through God’s provision.”

The 27-hour standoff began about 1 p.m. Thursday when police tailed Silvas, who was armed and had just robbed a LaGrange bank, police said. He eventually abandoned his getaway car, fleeing on foot before spotting the Searer residence.

The first sign that something was amiss Thursday was when Sarah Searer heard a gunshot as she sat in her back yard, reading her Bible. Her 15-year-old son, Dustin, heard it, too, while mowing the grass.

Then they noticed a DuPage County sheriff’s officer, armed with a rifle, crossing the creek behind their home just outside Villa Park.

The two darted inside, where Rosie’s barking upstairs made them suspect an intruder. Sarah yelled for Ben, inside on the first floor, to get out fast.

She and Dustin escaped out the back and Ben headed for the front door. Then they heard a shot. As Ben made his way out the front door, he saw Silvas’ legs coming down the stairs.

On his way out, Ben saw police with weapons drawn.

“I threw my hands in the air and said, ‘I live here! I live here!’æ” Ben said. “I didn’t want them to shoot me.”

Their teenage daughter, Adrienne, was not home at the time.

Sarah said her family’s survival was a product of good timing.

“There are so many things that, if the timing had even been off by five seconds, he could have been shot or we could have had a hostage situation,” she said. “It was horrible for a mother.”

The family fled to safety at a neighbor’s house. By that time, police had surrounded the house. Sarah called to tell her husband about the chain of events.

“We knew that everyone was safe, and that was most important,” John said.

As SWAT teams and the FBI staked out the house and urged Silvas to surrender, the family and some neighbors were displaced from their homes.

Silvas’ family worked with police during the standoff, making pleas to try to draw him out of the house alive.

They declined comment Saturday.

“Right now we’re going through a real confusing time, and we don’t want to comment,” said a woman who answered the phone at his address Saturday.

The Searers said they worried and prayed for Silvas and his family as the standoff wore on.

“We saw his brothers trying to talk to him and get him out,” John said. “We were feeling for them.”

The waiting game came to a close Friday when law enforcement officials entered the home and found Silvas dead in Dustin’s room. A DuPage County coroner’s autopsy confirmed Saturday that Silvas died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. No details were provided about his time of death.

Officials found an undisclosed amount of money, which is believed to be from the bank heist, and at least one gun inside, FBI spokesman Frank Bochte said.

FBI evidence technicians left the boarded-up house Saturday, turning it over to the Searers, he added. The FBI will compensate the family for the damage including shattered windows and chemical spillage from tear gas, Bochte also said. A damage estimate remained unavailable.

Though Bochte couldn’t say when repairs would be completed, the Searers hope to soon resume living full time in their house. The FBI provided hotel accommodations for the family on Friday night.

“In some ways, I think it’s healthy to stay here to work through it,” Sarah said. “I believe God doesn’t give us what we can’t handle.”

For neighbors, this weekend is about getting back inside their homes and resuming normalcy.

Frank Rocha, a nearby resident, said he’s glad for his neighbors’ safety. Having been displaced from his house during the standoff, Rocha had to miss work Friday because his clothes and job tools were trapped in his house. His cats fended for themselves while unsupervised.

“That was the only thing, the cats,” he said. “I couldn’t feed them.”

Another neighbor said she too was relieved the siege was over.

08-28-2005, 09:30 PM
Neighborhood siege ends
and Harry Hitzeman
Daily Herald Staff Writers
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005

More than 27 hours after an armed bank robbery suspect holed himself up in a stranger’s house outside Villa Park, the standoff ended when police swept through the house and made a grim discovery.

Just after 4:30 p.m. they found the suspect — identified as Juan Silvas, 30, of Chicago’s South Side — dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police said he was in an upstairs bedroom and may have been dead since sometime Thursday.

A German shepherd, a pet of the Searer family, into whose home Silva had barged after leading police on a chase, was also found dead. But the family’s cat survived, police said.

Negotiators had last spoken with Silvas around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, police said. Later, his mother was brought to the scene and made pleas to her son, but he did not respond.

A DuPage County sheriff’s officer said Silvas has no serious criminal background. His employment was spotty, and authorities believe financial stress may have motivated him to rob a bank, police said.

The chain of events began about 12:30 p.m. Thursday when Silvas held up a Harris Bank in LaGrange. As he fled in a white Cadillac sedan, he shot at police and slightly injured an officer whose windshield shattered. He then led police on a chase that ended up in Villa Park, where he ditched his car, ran into a wooded area and forced his way into a nearby home on Creekside Street.

Sarah Searer, who owns the home with her husband, John, was at home with at least one of their sons, but they were able to escape to a neighbor’s home.

Nearby residents were evacuated and businesses were closed. The major thoroughfares of North Avenue and Route 83 were closed until about noon Friday, while a stretch of Villa Avenue remained blocked off until after the standoff ended.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel, including FBI and DuPage County SWAT teams, secured the area and staked out the home.

Authorities attempted to make contact with Silvas, who lived at 10251 S. Ewing Ave. in Chicago, throughout the ordeal. Law enforcement agents shot no bullets but did fire tear gas and percussion grenades into the home in an attempt to startle or disarm Silvas. Police said they never heard gunshots coming from the home.

Villa Park-based Elementary District 45 and DuPage High School District 88 kept school buses out of the area during the standoff.

District 45 had parents of students living in the area drop off and pick up their children at school. Students at North School in Villa Park, about three-quarters of a mile from the scene, remained indoors all day Friday as a precaution, Superintendent William Schewe said.

Play It Again Sports at North and Villa had to close its doors after a phalanx of police cars, officers and SWAT members swooped in and turned the store into a “safe house” for some evacuated residents.

Sales associate Corey Williamsen said the residents were relatively calm during their stay. One woman sat on a weight bench with her head in her hands.

Store manager John Steier and Williamsen said authorities also brought in Silvas’ two older brothers. One of the men carried a Bible, Williamsen said.

“They seemed calm, but they didn’t have any answers for the FBI” in terms of their brother’s motive, Steier said.

He said agents used the store’s copier to make printouts of the suspect’s photograph and other vital information to share with officers. The agents took the original sheet, but it looked like a printout of military service, Steier said.

He said he heard Sarah Searer tell agents she was at the three-story home with her two sons and their dog. One was on the computer and the other was mowing the lawn.

“She heard something, looked down the (basement) stairs and saw a guy with a rifle and said ‘Let’s get … out of here,’” Steier said.

As the three fled to a neighbor’s house, they heard at least one shot come from inside the home, Steier said. Soon after, agents moved them and other neighbors to the sports store.

“She was calm, but you could see she was scared. I felt really bad for her,” Steier said.

The FBI put the families up in a hotel for the night and the Salvation Army provided them with food and other supplies, Steier said.

The long standoff left some nearby residents and business owners baffled.

“I don’t understand this. We are in complete chaos over one person,” said Julia Carpenter of DuPage Prestige Limousine on Ardmore Avenue. “I know they want the outcome to be peaceful, but I just can’t understand this. I’m befuddled. We’re being held hostage instead of him.”

By Friday afternoon, neighbor Debbie Dolecki also was baffled that the standoff lasted so long after the police last heard from the man.

“Do we really need this much manpower here for one man?” she asked.

Laidlaw Transit dispatcher Gary Ball said some of their school buses ran a little late because of traffic detours and resulting backups. The school bus company had been shut down when the standoff began Thursday, but police later allowed buses to come and go.

“As long as you were a yellow school bus, you were able to go back and forth,” Ball said.

Laidlaw branch manager Sean St. John said the bus company was temporarily storing a few vehicles from a nearby limousine company and a trucking firm. Authorities told the companies they would have limited access and best move any vehicles that needed to come and go, St. John said.

Bill Tsajalis, owner of Maple Tree Family Restaurant at Route 83 and North Avenue, closed down his eatery Thursday afternoon and it remained closed Friday.

“I don’t like it,” he said, “but what can you do?”

08-28-2005, 10:24 PM
I was just at the DuPage Expo Center back in March, seemed like a nice little area to visit. :)

Well, I'll tell you this much, if some POS killed one of my dogs like that, I wouldn't be praying for him, hellllllll no. :rolleyes: Any further comments will broach Rancor Pit territory so I will shut up.

08-28-2005, 11:14 PM
Well, I'll tell you this much, if some POS killed one of my dogs like that, I wouldn't be praying for him, hellllllll no. :rolleyes: Any further comments will broach Rancor Pit territory so I will shut up.

What about that Buttch guy in your neighborhood Caesar? ;) He's always talking about grinding corpse's and what have you.:whip: