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7-hour standoff ends peacefully

Tense time begins after man with machete breaks into building

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MCNABB — Children played. Adults talked amongst themselves. In general, everyone stayed close in McNabb’s fire station as they waited for the go-ahead Tuesday to return to their homes.



The all-clear came around 9:20 p.m. after Billy J. Marcano, 31, of 410 S. Main St., McNabb exited his apartment and surrendered to police, ending a seven-hour standoff.

The sheriff’s office received a call from a Main Street business at 1:47 p.m. Tuesday about a man who allegedly broke through a locked door and entered the Moreno’s restaurant building with a machete.

After authorities responded, Marcano wouldn’t come outside, said sheriff Kevin Doyle. Authorities cleared everyone from the building, and authorities didn’t go in because they felt it would endanger the lives of responders and Marcano, Doyle said.

This morning, Marcano was being held in La Salle County Jail on a Putnam County warrant for burglary. More charges are possible after review by the Putnam County State’s Attorney’s Office.

No one goes in


Deputies, state police officers and other responders swarm the Village of McNabb on Tuesday afternoon until after 9 p.m., when the standoff with Billy J. Marcano, 31, of McNabb ended. The sheriff’s office received a call from a Main Street business at 1:47 p.m. Tuesday about a man who broke through a locked door and entered the building with a machete. Marcano is being held on a Putnam County burglary warrant, but more charges could be coming.

Karen Sampson of McNabb looked out her window Tuesday when she noticed a number of police officers outside.

She came out the backdoor and found more officers in the back.

“I live in the apartment upstairs,” Sampson said, explaining there are two apartments attached to the restaurant, Moreno’s On Main, 410 Main St., McNabb.

In the other apartment lived Marcano.

“He has issues, I know,” Sampson said. “He’s always been nice to me.”

Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies, state police and other squad cars blocked Main Street just after 2 p.m., and soon after, other emergency personnel blocked the town’s entrances.

People could leave town, but authorities weren’t allowing people inside the village after approximately 2 p.m.

There were about 25 McNabb residents (children and adults combined) around 3:40 p.m. at the fire station who weren’t allowed to go home. The number of residents was about the same at 9:20 p.m. when they were released to go home. About 300 people live in McNabb.

“I’m just very glad it ended peacefully with no residents, no police and even the defendant — no one injured,” Doyle said.

Snowed in

Kurt Fogle of McNabb said this past weekend someone plowed snow around Marcano’s vehicle so high Marcano wasn’t able to drive out of the location.

Fogle said the vehicle wasn’t parked where it was supposed to be, but Fogle didn’t know if someone was trying to mess with Marcano.

The sheriff’s office has dealt with Marcano on complaints of parking, but the office has never received a call about a sword before Tuesday, Doyle said.

Residents gathered, unable to go home

McNabb school buses were routed to the McNabb fire station, and no new traffic was allowed into town, at the sheriff’s office request.

Parents started arriving at the fire station to pick up their children around 3 p.m., including Charity Simmons of McNabb.

“I know I’m safe. If I wasn’t safe, they definitely wouldn’t have had me come up here,” she said about the fire station. “They got the situation covered, it looks like just fine. They’re doing their job great.”

Mike Grasser of McNabb was at work when the standoff began.


Charity Simmons of McNabb greets children Madeline and Abraham Tuesday afternoon after school got let out at the McNabb fire station while the village was on lockdown. No residents were allowed to go into town after around 2 p.m. while Billy J. Marcano, 31, of 410 S. Main St., McNabb was in a standoff with authorities.

“There’s an individual who lives on Main Street in an apartment who has been causing a lot of issues the last couple of weeks — brandishing swords, acting funny, banging on walls, the cops have been called several times and all of a sudden today, I work at Grasser’s, they said, lock all the doors, nobody leave.”

Then about five minutes later, the authorities called to say those at Grasser’s should leave out the back, but Grasser did share he thought those in town were safe.

“I just want to go home and lay on my bed,” said Malachi Wilson, 11, of McNabb.

“Can you go home to let my dogs out?” asked Marcia Vaskie asked authorities later in the evening.

‘I really appreciate everything they do’

Authorities convinced Marcano to leave with an Illinois State Police hostage negotiator, but Doyle wouldn’t elaborate on the specifics.

In addition to the sheriff’s office, units from Spring Valley police, La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois Valley Special Response Team, Illinois State Police District 17 and Illinois State Police Crisis Negotiation Team responded.

McNabb, Magnolia and Hennepin fire departments and “PC ESDA” assisted in blocking off entrances to the village, the release says.

“I really appreciate everything they do,” Andy Jackson, Putnam County EMS director about the responders. “We train for things like this all the time.”

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and Follow her on Twitter @NT_PutnamCo.

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