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The Daily Eastern News

Police identified ‘masked men’

JJ Bullock, Assistant Sports Editor

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Four minors have been identified as the people behind the “masked men” incident that took place in Charleston over the weekend, according to Charleston Police Chief Bryan Baker.

The issue has reached resolution, Baker said, and the teens are being “taken care of.”

The suspects were reported to have been knocking on the windows of homes and following people down the sidewalk.

The four boys went to the home on the 1100 block of 6th street, where over the weekend they knocked on the windows and surrounded the porch wearing all black clothing and masks, and apologized to the home owners including junior family consumer science major Alex Schulte. However, the apology did not mend all the ill feelings.

“Yes, it did (make me feel better) and no. It did because it made me feel better knowing they were just a bunch of punk high school kids who were only like 16,” Schulte said. “Even though they said they would stop, it’s kind of like, ‘Well, did they actually mean they will stop and leave us alone or are they just saying that?’”

Schulte said it gave her and her roommates peace of mind knowing that the police have identified the four boys.

“I think it’s a good thing that the police know who they and it makes my roommates and I feel safer living where we do,” Schulte said. “Because personally, I feel like if the police spoke to them they definitely will not continue what they are doing.”

Over the weekend, Baker said the Charleston Police Department received only one phone call reporting the suspects, which he said was unsettling because it is hard for the police to take action if no one calls.

“If there is this many people seeing something they need to make it a point to call,” Baker said.

Baker also said they took these reports as seriously as they take all reports called in.

Rumored sightings of the “masked men” travelled quickly around campus on social media, phones and word of mouth.

Malik Smith, a communication studies major, heard about the “masked men,” from a friend who texted him saying there was something happening near the football field involving people with masks and knives.

“When I heard about it I was like, ‘dang this is one of the safest campuses in the whole country, right,’” Smith said. “So, my first thought was, ‘I am back in Chicago again?’”

The fact that the “masked men” were minors was a relief to Smith as well.

“Now that I think about they’re probably just high school kids trying to mess around with people in college,” Smith said. “But, hey, that’s not something to mess around with. Especially if I heard they had knives, sticking up people and stuff, high school nonsense. So, to do that on a college campus is like unheard of.”

Baker also added that the police have no reason to believe the boys used knives during the incidents.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 

581-2812 or jpbullock@eiu.edu.

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
Police identified ‘masked men’