A Zion man has been charged after walking into the Secretary of State's office in Waukegan on Thursday morning and claiming he had a bomb, police said. The man did not have an explosive and no one was injured.
Jose Gerardo Avila-Ramirez, 25 of Zion, reportedly "entered the facility and yelled that everyone inside was going to die," according to a Waukegan Police Department news release.
Avila-Ramirez then placed a box and backpack at the front counter of the facility and yelled to customers that it was a bomb, the release said.
Police responded to the Illinois Secretary of State's Office at 617 S. Green Bay Road in Waukegan at 9:47 a.m. for the report of a bomb threat.
Customers began fleeing from the facility shortly after Avila-Ramirez made the threat.
When the first officer arrived on the scene two minutes later at 9:49 a.m., he determined that Avila -Ramirez was still in the facility and hear people inside screaming for help, police said.
The officer entered the facility and took Avila-Ramirez into custody without incident.
Avila-Ramirez then told officers that the box and backpack did not contain a bomb, bur personal belongings, police said.
"Ramirez also told officers that he was very upset with having a suspended driver's license, being denied entry into the armed forces, and the Obama administration," the release said.
Avila Ramirez was charged with felony disorderly conduct and felony unlawful restraint. He is being held in the Lake County jail on $200,000 bond and will next appear in court on April 4. The Waukegan Fire Department, which has personnel trained to deal with explosives, was on the scene.
The state office remained closed for business throughout the afternoon, but people were allowed into neighboring businesses later Thursday afternoon.
• Daily Herald staff writers Russell Lissau and Steve Lundy contributed to this report.