Local News

State Senator Sue Rezin's Office Receives Threats; Peru Police Make Arrest

Chief Doug Bernabei announces the arrest of the below subject following an intensive investigation by members of the Peru Police Department patrol division, detective division and Special Investigations Unit.  The LaSalle County States Attorney as well as the Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC) also assisted our agency during the investigative phase.

 

Arrested:

Steven A. Tutko age 33

2830 4th Street Trailer 30

Peru, Illinois

 

Charge:

Class 4 Felony of Threat to school building or person, bond set at $100,000.00.

 

Day/Date/Time/Location of arrest:

Tuesday May 14, 2019 1245 pm at the defendant’s residence.

 

Case background:

On Monday May 13, 2019, an officer of the PPD responded to the Peru Offices of 38th District State Senator Sue Rezin.  The senator’s office had received a voice mail at her office wherein an individual made very specific threats that in part making a threat to commit a mass shooting at “a school.”  For obvious reason the matter was treated as the highest of priorities and overnight efforts to identify a potential suspect continued. The threat was only to “a school” with no specific school, city, or county mentioned or named.  As a precaution, the appropriate measures were taken to make sure local schools were safe and secure.

 

Based on our investigation the PPD identified a person of interest by Tuesday morning and immediately presented the facts to the office of the LaSalle States Attorney.  The states attorney approved a felony charge against the defendant for threats to a school building and persons and Judge Michael Janz signed a warrant over the noon hour Tuesday.  At the same time, we obtained a search warrant for the residence of the defendant. The home of the defendant was placed under police surveillance after the suspect was identified and while the warrants were being obtained.

 

At 1245pm, members of the Peru Police Department emergency response team (PERT) executed the search warrant and at the same time took the defendant into custody.  PERT is a tactical response team consisting of members of the Peru Police Department who have undergone special training in tactical response and search warrant tactics.

 

The charge in this case, as in all criminal cases is merely allegations and the defendant enjoys the presumption of innocence.