A police situation that required a visit from a county SWAT team and included the presence of several law enforcement agencies put a Lake in the Hills neighborhood on lockdown for more than five hours Friday night, but police officials were not immediately available to release details about what unfolded.
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.”
Avoid the area “until further notice,” a Nixle alert sent at 5:17 p.m. Friday said.
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.
Earlier in the night, police blocked off Polaris Drive between Harvest Gate and Randall Road.
Residents’ cars blocked Polaris Drive west of Cool Stone Bend as police let people enter their homes. Cars approaching Polaris Drive from the east were diverted to the Lowe’s parking lot and asked to go around.
Police were carrying shields and rifles outside of the garage of a home on Harvest Gate. There was a heavy police presence in the area, with Lake in the Hills and Huntley police as well as McHenry County SWAT members on the scene.
The police activity made for an interesting homecoming for 39-year-old Mike Tonelli, an information technology professional who returned from work Friday night to find all pathways to his home on Polaris Drive blocked with police personnel.
When he tried to take to a back way on Harvest Gate, Tonelli found a line of cars going nowhere fast. At some point, drivers backed out of the traffic jam and headed the opposite direction.
Tonelli did the same. He ended up parking on Cool Stone Bend, grabbing his bags and walking home.
“It was probably a five-minute walk for me,” Tonelli said.
Lake in the Hills police and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to requests for information Friday night.