Edgewater SWAT standoff ends with gun, burglary charges

Neumon Barbee | CPD

Prosecutors say the man who barricaded himself inside an Edgewater apartment Tuesday, resulting in a seven-hour standoff with a Chicago police SWAT team, was wanted for breaking into the building’s maintenance office and carrying a gun in the lobby.

Neumon Barbee is charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and burglary. Judge Mary Marubio ordered him to pay a $500 deposit toward bail to get out of custody.

The apartment building where Barbee lives in the 6000 block of North Winthrop is undergoing construction, and a temporary “cardboard wall” separates the public area from the building’s maintenance room, prosecutors said.

Surveillance footage allegedly showed Barbee walking into the lobby with a firearm in his hand on Tuesday, moving the cardboard wall, and crawling into the maintenance room. Inside the maintenance area, Barbee turned off all of the security cameras, but overlooked one, which recorded everything he did, prosecutors said.

Barbee took an ax from a workbench, stole keys to other apartment units, and then returned to his apartment while holding the ax and gun, according to the allegations.

After a janitor saw Barbee on surveillance video and realized he was the thief, Chicago police got a warrant to search his apartment.

But he refused to come out when detectives knocked on his door and a SWAT team was called in to handle the situation. They arrested Barbee without further incident seven hours later. Police found a defaced, loaded firearm on his sofa as well as the stolen ax, prosecutors said.

But Barbee allegedly told police he threw all of the other apartment keys “in a river.”

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