Police say a misunderstanding between a Metra train conductor and a deaf commuter led to police being called to investigate a possible bomb threat aboard a Metra commuter train in Riverside Monday night.
Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said, “It was quickly determined there was no threat,” and Burlington Northern-Santa Fe officials declined to press charges against a 20-year-old Brookfield man who had handed a note to the conductor aboard the westbound train at about 8:10 p.m.
An officer was sitting in a squad car at the Longcommon Road grade crossing, waiting for the train to clear, when a conductor flagged him down and told him a passenger gave him a note indicating there might be a bomb on the train.
After interviewing the passenger, said Weitzel, “The officer quickly determined the individual had a limited ability to communicate.”
In fact, said police, the passenger had fallen asleep and dreamed that the train was exploding. When the man woke up, he apparently was worried his dream might come true and tried to convey that message to the conductor via a handwritten note.
The train continued on its way after about a 10 minute delay, said Weitzel. When it arrived at the end of the line in Aurora, police dogs swept through the train, but found nothing unusual.
“The BNSF informed us they had determined not to sign any complaint against [the passenger],” said Weitzel.
– Bob Uphues