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Article updated: 5/6/2013 12:26 PM

Arlington Hts. businesses, residents relieved by end to standoff

A sign outside a restaurant in downtown Arlington Heights on Sunday thanks the police department for its handling of a standoff situation. Portions of downtown were cordoned off Saturday night during the standoff, which ended peacefully.

A sign outside a restaurant in downtown Arlington Heights on Sunday thanks the police department for its handling of a standoff situation. Portions of downtown were cordoned off Saturday night during the standoff, which ended peacefully.

 

Matt Arado | Staff Photographer

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Mike Caringella felt like it needed to be said.

A chalkboard sign outside the restaurant that Caringella owns -- Armand's Pizzeria in downtown Arlington Heights -- had the following message written on it Sunday: "Nice job, A.H.P.D. Thanks."

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Caringella said he was thanking the police department for its handling of a standoff Saturday night just a short walk from his restaurant. According to Arlington Heights police, a 38-year-old man, after firing a gun on the sixth floor of a Wing Street condominium building, remained in his condo unit for hours until officers were able to force their way in and take him into custody. No one was hurt.

The man, who police said was threatening suicide, was taken Saturday night to Northwest Community Hospital for an evaluation. Police on Sunday continued to investigate and no charges had been filed.

Although the standoff ended peacefully, it created a frightening scene downtown. A SWAT team and other heavily armed police officers flooded into the area. Some streets were blocked off.

"I thought (the police) handled it great," Caringella said Sunday. "We were very busy last night, and people were starting to get nervous, even a little panicked. The police let me know what was going on. They made sure everyone was safe and informed. I was able to get deliveries in and out, even though traffic flow had been affected.

"I figured if I put something about it on the sign, a few officers might actually see it."

Others who took advantage of Sunday's sunny and mild weather to shop or eat in the downtown area said they were relieved that the standoff didn't result in any serious injury. Resident Claire Michaels had assumed the worst when she heard that a huge police presence had gathered downtown.

"A friend of mine called to tell me that all these police with weapons were arriving," she said Sunday while taking a walk down Campbell Street. "Honestly, the first thing I thought of was what happened in Boston. I was so glad to see that everything had gotten resolved."

Craig O'Connell said he had bought groceries at the Jewel store across the street from the Wing Street condo building just a short time before the standoff began.

"It was scary, when I heard about it," he said. "But it ended without any major issues, so that was good. I guess these days you never know what something's going to turn out to be."

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