Cop suspended after standoff with police
By Kalyn Belsha and Brian Stanley Sun-Times Media March 14, 2013 11:06AM
John P. Wolfinbarger
Updated: April 16, 2013 4:00PM
An Oswego police officer has been suspended after being involved in a standoff with police outside a Channahon pizza restaurant Wednesday evening.
Officer John P. Wolfinbarger, 43, was immediately placed on administrative leave after the incident, which is protocol when serious allegations are lodged against an officer, Oswego Police Chief Dwight Baird said.
Wolfinbarger, an 11-year veteran of the Oswego force, was off-duty at the time of the incident.
Channahon police said Wolfinbarger refused to identify himself or comply with police after he began arguing with a pizza restaurant employee who could see a gun in his waistband.
Channahon Police Chief Jeff Wold said the confrontation began around 5:30 p.m. when Wolfinbarger tried to walk into the back office at Chicago Pizza, 25520 S. Pheasant Lane.
“He was very upset when he was told customers weren’t allowed in the office and began yelling,” Wold said. “During the confrontation the employee could see he was carrying a handgun in his waistband.”
Wolfinbarger reportedly went out to the parking lot and got into a black Chevrolet pickup truck while staff called 911 and brought uniformed officers to the scene.
“Because of the report of the gun, they had their own weapons out and ordered him to get out of the vehicle. He would not get out or identify himself,” Wold said.
During the 15-minute standoff, Wolfinbarger spoke on his cell phone and threw his wallet out the pickup window, saying if the officers wanted to know who he was they should come get the wallet, according to Wold.
“At no point did he identify himself as a police officer,” Wold noted.
Wolfinbarger eventually agreed to step out of the vehicle and surrendered a loaded Glock handgun as he was taken into custody.
Channahon police then learned the Yorkville resident was an Oswego officer, Wold said.
Wolfinbarger was arrested on charges of obstructing a police officer, disorderly conduct and drunken driving.
An internal investigation will be conducted by Oswego police, Baird said, which will determine Wolfinbarger’s employment status.
“We’re going to investigate most expeditiously to gather all the facts and at that time we’ll made a decision that’s in the best interest of the officer and the best interest of the village,” Baird said. “This is a top priority for us. We need to maintain the public’s trust and protect the officer’s rights.”
Baird said the length of such an investigation depends on the case, but he did not “foresee this being a very complex case at this time.”