The Fairview Heights MetroLink station was closed for a short period Monday morning while police handled what they said was a possible "domestic disturbance" near the entrance on St. Clair Avenue.
The dispute between an ex-boyfriend and girlfriend began in East St. Louis before they “chas(ed) each other” to the station parking lot, where the man started breaking the windows on the woman’s car with a hammer, according to Fairview Heights Police Department.
An onlooker called 911 about the incident shortly before 10 a.m. and reported that the cars then left the parking lot and headed south on Illinois 161.
Initially, it was reported that the incident might have been a possible abduction taking place.
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Fairview Heights police responded to the parking lot and relayed information to the Belleville Police Department. The two cars were spotted coming back to Fairview Heights a little later.
“The (ex-boyfriend’s) vehicle pulled over immediately with the victim ... following (him) and stopping along with the officers,” according to a police statement.
The woman told police that her ex-boyfriend was known to carry a gun or was carrying one at the time, according to the statement.
Although he’d pulled over, the man refused to get out of the vehicle.
The man and a passenger stayed in the car for 40 minutes before being taken into custody by police. A search of the man’s vehicle revealed no gun.
Norman Miller, a former alderman for the city from 2001-13, lives about a football field from the scene and saw it unfold.
“I’ve never seen so many policemen ... and shotguns pointed on a vehicle in my life,” he said.
Miller had pulled out of his driveway in his car to go to Belleville when he encountered the police blockade. He parked in the station parking lot, snapped a few pictures of the scene, and took a back way home.
The man and the passenger remained in custody Monday night, Fairview Heights police officer Tim Mueller said. The woman was questioned and released.
No shots were fired and no one was injured, according to Mueller.
The suspect has outstanding warrants for traffic-related charges and domestic battery, according to police.
Officers left the scene around 11 a.m. after getting the situation under control.