Metra trains headed into and out of Chicago were stopped and thousands of passengers delayed as police investigated reports of a suspicious man with a gun who may or may not have gotten on one of those trains headed into Lisle.
WBBM radio reported that the man turned out to be a Secret Service agent, but it took a while to determine that.
Just before 8 a.m. Wednesday a suspicious person was hanging around the main Naperville train station and, according to a ticket agent at the station, was asking "unusual questions relating to security," Naperville Police Cmdr. Dave Hoffman said.
The ticket agent was unsure whether the man left the station on foot or if he got on a train. The train he would have gotten on was Metra Burlington Northern Santa Fe train No. 1252. When that train got to Lisle, it was stopped and police began looking for that man.
The Chicago Tribune reported that someone overheard a male passenger ask a train conductor if there was a metal detector onboard, explaining that he had a gun. The man did not, apparently, identify himself as an agent at that time.
Police were called and got onto the train with guns, questioning passengers to find the subject, the Tribune said.
Hoffman said the man was described as a white male, in his early 30s, 6-foot-2, with a medium build, wearing a green jacket with a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a knapsack.
Train No. 1252 left Aurora at 7:52 a.m., according to a Metra spokesman. It is an express train, which after making stops in Naperville and Lisle, was headed into the Loop, where it was scheduled to arrive at 8:34 a.m., Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said. As of about 9:45 a.m. it had been stopped at the Lisle station, near Lincoln and Ogden avenues, for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Pardonnet said some passengers were taken off the train.
The activity affected other trains on the BNSF line, as well.