Suspect jailed after Illinois hotel standoff

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A 29-year-old Rock Falls man is in custody after police allege he was involved in a standoff Sunday at a hotel in Lee County, according to a news release.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Lee County Dispatch received a 911 call from the Magnuson Hotel, 443 Illinois Route 2, that a man had just threatened him with a gun at the location.

Lee County Deputies, Dixon Police and the Illinois State Police responded to the scene. Through the investigation, the suspect was identified as Steven M. Armoska of Rock Falls, who was staying at the hotel.

Steven Armoska (Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

Armoska was discovered to have a lengthy criminal history with numerous prior weapons offenses and felony convictions, the release says.

The determination was made to activate the Joint Operations Group, which is a group of tactical officers from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Dixon Police Department, and medics with the Dixon City Fire Department. A perimeter was established around the room where Armoska was staying and occupants of the hotel were evacuated.

Throughout the afternoon, officers tried to make contact with Armoska to no avail. The decision was made to deploy a CS chemical agent – the defining component of tear gas is commonly called CS gas, which is used as a riot-control agent – into the hotel room “in an effort to open a dialogue and negotiate a peaceful surrender,” the release shows.

Shortly after the chemical agent was deployed, Armoska emerged from the hotel room and was taken into custody, the release says.

A search of the hotel room revealed multiple guns, cannabis, and other controlled substances. Armoska faces these charges:

Armed habitual criminal (four counts), a Class X felony

Unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon (four counts), a Class 2 felony

Unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony

Unlawful possession of cannabis (100 to 500 grams), a Class 4 felony

Aggravated assault, a Class A misdemeanor.

Armoska is being held at the Lee County Jail pending a detention hearing. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office was also assisted by the Lee County State’s Attorney’s Office, along with the other law enforcement agencies at the scene.


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