Crime Brief

Man told 911 dispatcher he would ‘blow up’ McHenry store, police say

John K. Petko is wanted in connection with an alleged false 911 complaint earlier this month

A McHenry County judge has issued a warrant for the arrest of a 50-year-old man accused of calling 911 and falsely reporting that he would “blow up” the McHenry Meijer.

John K. Petko is wanted in connection with an Oct. 1 phone call he allegedly made to 911, according to a McHenry Police Department criminal complaint. The charge, making a false complaint to 911, is a felony typically punishable by a maximum of three years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Petko called 911 and said he would “blow up” the McHenry store at 2253 N. Richmond Road. The complaint also alleged that Petko “knew there was no reasonable grounds for making the call.”

The McHenry Police Department did not respond to an email seeking further details about the allegations.

Petko was not in police custody as of Wednesday afternoon. The police department’s criminal complaint listed the McHenry PADS shelter as Petko’s address.

The warrant issued for Petko’s arrest lists a $15,000 bond.

An Oct. 21 court date has been set for an update on the status of the arrest warrant. Petko does not have an attorney listed in connection to the case.

Petko is charged in a separate case with failing to report a June 9, 2020, crash that injured another person in the same Meijer parking lot.

The McHenry County Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent Petko in that case, and in February, Petko was accepted into McHenry County’s Mental Health Court program.

His presence was waved at his most recent Oct. 8 court date for the 2020 case, since he was actively “receiving treatment,” according to that day’s court order.

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

Katie reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald from 2017 through 2021. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.