Brookfield Zoo

Woman Arrested in Connection to Brookfield Zoo Threat

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A woman was arrested Wednesday in connection with a threat at suburban Brookfield Zoo Tuesday evening, forcing all visitors to shelter-in-place for several hours.

The woman, found in her Chicago home, voluntarily agreed to be escorted to the Brookfield Police Department for further questioning, the zoo said.

Investigators said the woman was never at Brookfield Zoo or in any surrounding communities. She was charged with one count of disorderly conduct and was evaluated by a crisis worker, then subsequently sent to an area hospital for mental health treatment.

According to Brookfield Zoo Police Chief Mike Pendola, at approximately 5:15 p.m., 911 dispatchers received a call from a crisis-intervention line, with a caller threatening to harm guests and themselves at the zoo.

Information from the call was described as “vague,” but officials instituted a lockdown and worked to methodically clear the park with assistance from Riverside and Brookfield police.

In a tweet Tuesday evening at approximately 6 p.m., the zoo asked people to remain sheltered within the facility until officials clear the scene "out of an abundance of caution."

Officers worked to clear public areas and buildings over the next several hours, but it was determined that the individual was not within the park when the call was made, and there are no active threats at this time.

An "all-clear" was given by zoo officials and Brookfield police at approximately 8:10 p.m.

“We are thankful that this unfortunate situation has been quickly resolved, an arrest has been made, and there is no longer any threat to Brookfield Zoo. We want to thank again our neighboring jurisdictions that quickly responded to the incident last evening and assisted the Brookfield Zoo Police Department in ensuring that all our guests, staff, and animals were safe,” Pendola said.

The zoo has been open for its normal hours on Wednesday, officials said.

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