Union Station Restaurant Manager Faked Armed Robbery, Cops Say

Van Buskirk | Chicago Police Dept

A restaurant manager reported being tied up, battered, and robbed in the back office of his Union Station bar and grill last month, but now cops say the whole thing was a charade.

The Junction bar manager James Van Buskirk, 53, is charged with felony disorderly conduct – false report of an offense, police said.

Van Buskirk reportedly told police that he had been restrained with zip ties in the restaurant’s office by an armed man who pistol-whipped him around 10:15 a.m. on March 29, according to police records. The robber was said to have fled the scene with the restaurant’s receipts as well as Van Buskirk’s personal cell phone, wallet, and keys.

Amtrak police and Chicago cops scoured the Loop and surrounding areas for a suspect. Police in suburban Evergreen Park even dispatched a patrol unit to Van Buskirk’s home to ensure that his child, who was home on spring break, was safe, police said.

But last Thursday morning, the whole thing derailed. That’s when Chicago police arrested Van Buskirk a few minutes after he opened The Junction for business.

Chicago police today declined to cite a motive for Van Buskirk’s alleged actions.

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