A South Roxana man has been charged with disorderly conduct after he falsely reported a crime, police said.
Marcus Rose called police on Wednesday afternoon saying there was a man on Sinclair Avenue with anthrax, police said.
“Even though I was highly skeptical of the validity of this complaint, we had to treat the threat real until it could be proven otherwise,” Police Chief Bob Coles said in a news release.
The call led to the road being shut down, and a response from officers from three police departments, the South Roxana Fire Department and the Madison County Hazardous Material Response Team.
Emergency personnel tested the substance and determined it was candle wax, Coles said.
Rose was taken into custody for and charged with disorderly conduct, police said.
“Like many police departments who are understaffed and have numerous other cases to investigate or calls of service to respond, too, I do not take calling in false police reports lightly,” Coles said.
“Our police department does not have a records clerk, secretary, or full-time investigator. So when a major crime occurs, I come out and help our officer investigate the incident. I have to pull an officer off the street just to keep up with the secretarial demands of the job. Which means one less officer patrolling our town. With such an employee shortage, I cannot as the chief stand by and allow this disruption to our town and cost to the tax payers go without notice.”