NEW LENOX – Fridays After Five, a live music and food event put on by the Village, was abruptly canceled Friday night after New Lenox Police discovered a soft rifle case on site.
“An alert concert-goer notified our emergency personnel that there was a suspicious bag lying on the grass near the street. Because of the location of the bag, as well as the amount of people in the Commons, it is highly unlikely that it was there for very long. The item was a soft rifle case. The case did not contain a weapon, but did have other items that the police have collected for evidence.” New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann said in a statement last night.
According to the Will County Sheriff’s Department who responded to the scene, officers would discovered that the soft rifle case was filled with toys. Officers would later find the bag belonged to a woman who told police she wanted to “give it to the first little boy” she saw.
The woman involved has not been identified.
The Village of New Lenox was one of few communities that did not cancel their 4th of July fireworks following the tragedy in Highland Park. New Lenox Police said in a statement “tonight was a different set of circumstances.”
“This incident speaks volumes about our community. First, the well-being of our residents will always come first. Second, We will always be transparent and timely with information that affects our community. Third, we have an incredibly talented and professional police force and staff that deserve our respect and admiration. Fourth, and most amazing, our residents ALWAYS step up and take care of each other.” Mayor Baldermann added. “This case would not have been resolved so quickly without everyone doing their part. Hindsight is 20/20, but when making these decisions we don’t have that luxury. I’m just glad this apparently was an unfortunate series of events that led to the cancelation of tonight’s fun.”