Woodstock man charged with illegally possessing firearms after police, SWAT team surround home for 5 hours

Police said man threatened neighbors with a gun for ‘making noise’

A Woodstock man was charged with illegally possessing three firearms after police and a SWAT team surrounded a home for five hours Wednesday Aug. 2, 2023.

A Woodstock man was charged with illegally possessing three firearms after police and a SWAT team surrounded a home for five hours Wednesday night.

Mathew Eames, 50, of the 400 block of Lake Avenue, was charged with possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, a Class 4 felony.

“When I took a better look I realized it was [two] police officers taking cover behind the shield and one with a long rifle pointed towards the house.”

—  Andrew Rousey who said he was near the incident as it unfolded

He was accused of illegally possessing two rifles being an AR-15 style and .22 caliber as well as a 9 mm pistol, Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb said.

About 5:15 p.m., a juvenile flagged down a Woodstock Police officer who was on regular patrol nearby.

Mathew Eames

The officer met with the juvenile’s parents who said that “their neighbor had just displayed two different firearms toward them as a possible form of intimidation for them making noise,” Woodstock police said in a news release Thursday.

They also said there were three people inside the residence where the firearms were located.

Woodstock police and deputies from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office created a perimeter around the house, people in adjacent houses were evacuated while others were told to “shelter in place,” police said.

Vehicle and Metra train traffic on the nearby Union Pacific Northwest (UP-NW) also were prevented from traveling through the area during the incident.

Metra police officers also were on the scene during the incident, Lieb said.

Police got Eames’ attention about 6:30 p.m. and he was detained.

“Multiple methods” were used to communicate with the other two people inside the house without success, leading police to obtain a search warrant to enter.

Because firearms were believed to be inside the house, members of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team also responded to the scene and assisted in executing the search warrant.

The two remaining people inside the home eventually were detained, interviewed and released, police said.

Neighbor, Andrew Rousey, said that at about 5:40 p.m., while taking his dog outside, he noticed a man in the backyard of the house “with a shield of some sort.”

A Woodstock man was charged with illegally possessing three firearms after police and a SWAT team surrounded a home for five hours Wednesday Aug. 2, 2023.

“When I took a better look I realized it was [two] police officers taking cover behind the shield and one with a long rifle pointed toward the house,” Rousey said in an email sent to the Northwest Herald during the incident.

Rousey said he also heard a man yelling from the residence at police to put their guns down and for someone to get the incident on video.

Police flashed their squad car lights and used an audio system and said to the occupants of the house to exit through the front door “with your hands in the air and empty,” Rousey said.

Rousey said he saw Eames being taken into custody by police and the other two people exiting the house about an hour and a half later.

Woodstock police said in the release that they collected the three firearms from inside the house and the scene was cleared about 10:30 p.m.

Additional charges may be filed after a grand jury review, police said.

A Woodstock man was charged with illegally possessing three firearms after police and a SWAT team surrounded a home for five hours Wednesday Aug. 2, 2023.

Eames was transported to the McHenry County jail Wednesday night and bonded out Thursday after appearing in rights court, according to the jail log.

He was given a $15,000 bond of which he would have had to post $1,500 to be released. He is due back in court on Aug. 31, according to court documents.