Man radioed fake “10-1” police emergency as hundreds of teens converged on the Belmont CTA station Monday, prosecutors say

A Chicago man faces felony charges for allegedly radioing a fake “10-1” police emergency that sent dozens of cops racing to the Belmont CTA station as a large crowd of young people descended on the area Monday night. Coincidentally, real police officers declared their own 10-1 about an hour later as they tried to manage the growing crowd.

Marcus Sanders (inset) and a scene from Monday’s “large group” incident in Lakeview. | CPD; CWBChicago

Marcus Sanders, 45, is charged with felony disorderly conduct, failure to register as a sex offender, and misdemeanor possession of a police scanner. 

Patrol officers first reported that a growing group of people was forming near the intersection of Belmont and Sheffield around 9:45 p.m. Monday. About 30 minutes later, dispatchers declared a 10-1 at the nearby CTA station, allegedly in response to Sanders’s call.

Cops flooded the area to assist an officer in distress, but they found none. That’s because the fake police emergency was actually declared by Sanders, who was found in possession of a “radio device,” according to Assistant State’s Attorney Danny Hanichak.

After Sanders was taken into custody, police discovered that he had not registered as a sex offender since 2016, according to Hanichak. Sanders must register due to his 2005 conviction for predatory sexual assault, which involved a 12-year-old victim, according to Illinois State Police records.

CPD arrest data shows that Chicago cops arrested Sanders for violating the sex offender registration act and false impersonation of a police officer in 2018. He was also charged with violating the sex offender registration act and false impersonation of a federal government employee in 2016.

Hanichak said Sanders has “multiple” failure to register convictions. The outcomes of the previous impersonation charges were not immediately available.

Sanders has been charged with impersonation-related crimes in Chicago two other times since 2016.

In November of that year, he allegedly told police that he was a federal agent employed by “Bureau 76 Federal,” during a stop on the South Side, according to court records. Prosecutors charged him with false impersonation of a public officer and failure to register as a sex offender. The former charge was dropped. He received two years for the latter.

Almost exactly two years later, he was charged with the same two crimes after he allegedly told officers during a traffic stop that he was running late to his “agency.” A badge clipped to his hoodie said he was “systems chief operator” at “Bureau 76 Federal,” according to a CPD report.

While police were arresting him, Sanders allegedly told them, “Excuse me, excuse me. You’re talking to a federal business agent. I ain’t no dummy.” He also told police he was going to “call another agent,” according to the arrest report.

Sanders eventually pleaded guilty to the sex offender registration violation and prosecutors dropped the impersonation charge. Sentencing information was not immediately available.

On Wednesday, Assistant Public Defender Patrick Shine said Sanders has an associate’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin and works for a “non-governmental organization” called “Bureau 76 Federal,” where he has been systems chief operator for 19 years. Sanders lives with a roommate and is experiencing housing instability, Shine continued.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Sanders to pay a $1,000 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is