Arrest made in Brookfield retirement home bomb threat

Cops: Suspect said he was bored and just joking

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By Bob Uphues


A 21-year-old Maywood man - who told police he was "bored and thought it would be funny" when he allegedly implied a bomb threat on the visitors' ledger at Cantata Adult Life and Senior Care Services in Brookfield on Nov. 4 - has been charged with felony and misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with the incident.

Michael R. Phipps, an employee of the retirement community's food service company, reportedly was on electronic monitoring for an unrelated drug case when he allegedly signed the ledger John Doe and wrote "bomb" as the reason for his visit before catching a ride home from work that evening.

A security guard noticed the entry in the visitor ledger at The Woodlands building on the Cantata campus about 7:30 p.m. while making his rounds of the property. At that moment, there were about 100 people in the building, playing bingo.

Unsure who might have penned the entry in the ledger, staff and police evacuated residents, many of whom require wheelchairs, to The Woodlands' dining room while police from Brookfield and six other agencies searched the buildings on the campus for suspicious packages.

The Cook County Bomb Squad also surveyed the scene using bomb-sniffing dogs to assist. Police were on the scene for more than an hour before allowing residents to return to their rooms.

Witnesses told police that Phipps was seen waiting for his ride outside The Woodlands prior to the security guard discovering the ledger entry. Video surveillance footage also caught Phipps standing by the doorway to The Woodlands about 6:45 p.m.

Police interviewed Phipps on Nov. 5 at the Brookfield Police Department, where he reportedly admitted penning the ledger entry.

Phipps is being held at Cook County Jail without bond for violating the terms of his bond in the drug case.

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