* Peoria Journal Star…
At Sunday’s new conference, [Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston] released all the reports his office had filed with regards to Reinking. He also said Reinking’s weapons were taken from him but then returned to his father, who had a valid FOID card. That was done, the sheriff said, because it was a “constitutional” issue regarding property rights.
“Constitutional” property rights issue, eh?
Newspapers in an 11-county area that make up GateHouse’s Western Illinois Division have completed an in-depth news project looking at spending of money seized in drug busts. Each city police department, sheriff’s office and state’s attorney’s office gets a share of the money. The project gathered itemized expenditures out of those funds from 38 agencies in the 11 counties between Aug. 1, 2011, and July 31, 2012.
Number one county on that list? Tazewell, at $12,300.
* And it’s not like the county didn’t know about Reinking’s many mental problems. Click here for the local police reports going back to May of 2016. Pantagraph…
“The police reports speak for themselves. I think anyone can conclude after reading them that there’s evidence (Reinking) has mental health issues,” said Tazewell County Sheriff Bob Huston.
And yet, Reinking kept legal possession of his guns until he showed up at the White House.
Jeff Reinking, Travis’s father, owns a crane rental service in Illinois. His son was described as “delusional” in another police report from 2016.
The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office report for an incident referred to as “suicide attempt by firearms” said Travis Reinking “was delusional and believed the famous entertainer, Taylor Swift, was harassing him via stalking and hacking his phone. Travis believes everyone including his own family and the police are involved.”
It noted that his father, his mother, Judith, and his grandmother Marilyn all had concerns about him.
“Travis is hostile towards police and does not recognize police authority. Travis also possesses several firearms,” said the incident report. It also said Reinking believed he has autism, had made “suicidal comments” and was eventually taken away for mental evaluation.
And yet Reinking kept his guns.
* He was forcefully taken by the police to that mental evaluation…
The former Morton man had several run-ins with police over the past several years. In May 2016, police responded to the CVS parking lot in Morton, where Reinking was in his vehicle allegedly having delusions about singer Taylor Swift harassing him, stalking him and hacking his phone. The delusions had allegedly gone on since August of 2014. His family was also at the parking lot and feared for his safety because he had made comments about killing himself earlier in the day.
Officers tried to convince Reinking to seek help at UnityPoint Health-Methodist, and told him he could not leave the scene because he was in protective custody due to suicidal comments he made. Reinking allegedly attempted to leave again before he was made to go to [UnityPoint Health-Methodist].
No word on what that evaluation found, but Reinking kept his guns.
* The police had lots of forewarning. WAND…
Reinking also told the officer he believed people were trying to goad him into breaking the law, alluding to an out-of-state incident where a van had a sign which read “Don’t steal the van on it.” Reinking thought the sign was directed at him specifically. Reinking appeared to be serious and concerned when filing the August 2017 report, the officer said. The officer assured Reinking a report would be on file.
And the cops let Reinking keep his guns.
* NY Times…
In reports, the sheriff’s department in Tazewell County, Ill., had described Mr. Reinking as a man who was hostile to the police, had threatened suicide and believed his family was harassing him. […]
In August 2017, Travis Reinking, driving a blue Mitsubishi, pulled up alongside a police car and said he wanted to file a report. About 20 to 30 people were hacking into his phone and computer, he told the police. He could hear people outside his home barking like dogs, but didn’t know who they were. At a Walmart recently, he felt that a man in a black shirt was watching him, and no one else.
Hostile to the police, suicidal and clearly delusional, but Reinking kept his guns.
On June 16, 2017, an employee of his father’s business, J&J Cranes, called the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office to report that Reinking came down from his apartment wearing a pink dress and holding a rifle, an incident report states.
The employee told police Reinking yelled “Is this what you f—–g want?” before he threw his rifle in his trunk and left, according to the report.
Around the same time, the Tremont Police Department responded to a call to a public pool, according to another incident report. The pool director told the responding officer that a man in his 20s barged into the pool wearing a pink women’s housecoat, the report states. The man dove into the pool and took off the coat and swam around in his underwear. When he got out of the pool, he shouted at lifeguards that he was a man and exposed his genitals to them, the report states. […]
The officer said he also called Reinking’s father, who was out of state. Jeffrey Reinking told the office he had taken three guns from his son before and locked them up “when Travis was having problems,” the report states.
Later in the day, the officer said in his report, “I called back Jeff Reinking and advised him of what happened and when he gets back home he might want to lock the guns back up until Travis gets mental help, which he stated he would.”
He “might want to lock the guns back up.”
* Meanwhile, the Tribune reports that the father returned his son’s guns three times. There may be a legal loophole…
Transfers of weapons from one family member to another as a “bona fide gift” are exempt from a requirement under Illinois law that the owner first verify with state police that the recipient of the gun has a valid FOID card.
More information is required before a decision on whether to charge Jeffrey Reinking is made, Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stuart Umholtz said Monday in an email to The Pantagraph.
At the very least, that loophole needs to be closed.
*** UPDATE *** I didn’t initially see this Sun-Times editorial on this very topic…
In the wake of the Waffle House shooting, the Legislature also should draw up a bill that would prevent weapons from being returned to anybody after police take them away, unless a court signs off on it. As the Waffle House case shows, we can’t always rely on family members to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.