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Authorities identify Lake in the Hills man arrested during neighborhood lockdown

Lake in the Hills police officer Sarah Barham heads back to a police vehicle with her rifle as police, armed with rifles and shields, surround a home near the intersection of Polaris Drive and Harvest Gate on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 in Lake in the Hills.
Lake in the Hills police officer Sarah Barham heads back to a police vehicle with her rifle as police, armed with rifles and shields, surround a home near the intersection of Polaris Drive and Harvest Gate on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 in Lake in the Hills.

A neighborhood lockdown in Lake in the Hills that lasted almost six hours Friday night and required the presence of an armed SWAT team toting shields began with a report to police about a drunken man.

At 4:07 p.m., Lake in the Hills Police were dispatched to the 100 block of Harvest Gate, said Ashley Eccles, the department’s communication coordinator.

Someone had called 911 to report what police described as a “male intoxicated subject,” authorities said.

Officers soon met a 27-year-old man named Garrett C. Kowalczyk, a resident on the block.

“He threatened the officers with a weapon that was not displayed and retreated into the residence,” Eccles wrote in an email. “Officers secured the residence and requested the assistance of the McHenry County SWAT Team.”

About 5:15 p.m., Lake in the Hills police warned residents to avoid the area near Harvest Gate and Polaris Drive because of “police activity.”

The area soon flooded with law enforcement personnel from all over McHenry County, including Algonquin Police Department, Carpentersville Police Department, Cary Police Department, Crystal Lake Police Department, Huntley Police Department and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

Police carried shields and rifles outside of the garage of the Harvest Gate home where Kowalczyk retreated earlier in the night.

Authorities blocked off Polaris Drive between Harvest Gate and Randall Road, making it difficult for residents to get home.

Residents’ cars blocked Polaris Drive west of Cool Stone Bend. Cars approaching Polaris Drive from the east were diverted to the Lowe’s parking lot and asked to go around. Some residents had to park blocks away and walk to their houses.

About 10 p.m., Kowalczyk was arrested without incident and taken into custody.

SWAT members left the scene about 10:20 p.m., and neighborhood residents unable to get to their homes gained access to their block about 10:30 p.m., when a second Nixle alert announced roads had reopened.

As of 12:30 p.m. Saturday, authorities had not released the details of any criminal charges against Kowalczyk.

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

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