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ARRESTED: Police manhunt for report of man armed with hatchet threatening people in Crystal Lake

Numerous officers and canine units respond to a search for an armed man in the area of the Uteg Apartments in the 200 block of Uteg Street in Crystal Lake on May 16, 2023. | Photo: Jessica Krueger

A police manhunt for a suspect who was reported to have been armed with a hatchet and threatening people in Crystal Lake resulted in the arrest of a 60-year-old man.

The Crystal Lake Police Department responded around 7:05 p.m. last Tuesday to the 200 block of Uteg Street in Crystal Lake for a report of a disturbance.

A 911 caller reported a male subject in the parking lot was yelling at everyone to “come out” so he could assault someone, according to a partial police report obtained by Lake and McHenry County Scanner through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The main complainant reported the suspect was yelling at kids and threatening people in the area.

The suspect was spotted hiding near a staircase and witnesses said the man had a hatchet in his hand, the report said.

Officers from multiple police departments responded to the scene along with canine units.

Officers also stood by Crystal Lake Central High School during the search.

A perimeter was set up and a canine track was started at the Uteg Apartments, the report said.

The search did not immediately result in the suspect being located but officers later that evening arrested Joseph D. Gray, 60, of Crystal Lake, in connection with the incident.

Gray was charged with one count of disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor.

He was released from custody after posting 10% of a $1,000 bond, court records show.

Pulse Radio 96.1 had reached out to Crystal Lake police officials requesting details on the incident last week, but they declined to comment on the case.

Police officials instead directed Pulse Radio 96.1 to obtain the information through a FOIA request, which can take up to five business days to receive.

The police department also did not communicate to the public about the search through its social media accounts.

Gray is scheduled to appear at an initial court appearance on June 27.

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