A note passed to a Metra train conductor Monday night that described a train exploding was taken as a bomb threat and the passenger who passed it was detained and questioned by police.
The investigation revealed, however, showed it was not a threat but a description of a dream the man — who is deaf — had and passed on to the conductor because he was concerned it might come true.
A Metra conductor flagged down a Riverside police officer at 8:12 p.m. Monday to report a passenger had passed him a handwritten note stating there might be a bomb on the train, a release from Riverside police said.
The train was stopped at the crossing at Burlington and Longcommon Road, and officers initiated emergency protocol for response to railroad incidents involving potential explosives.
But the investigation determined the passenger was deaf and was trying to tell the conductor that he had fallen asleep and had a dream the train was exploding. When he awoke, he was worried and tried communicate that information to the conductor, police said.
The train left the area, but Burlington Northern Santa Fe Police detained the man for further questioning. The train was swept by bomb-sniffing dogs once it arrived at its final destination in Aurora. The sweep came up negative.
Railroad police later told Riverside police that no charges were brought against the passenger, a 20-year-old Brookfield resident.
“Police will always respond to these types of incidents with great concern and with the anniversary of 9/11 just passing; any mention of explosives will generate heightened attention,” Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said.