Weather Updates

Evanston high school student arrested after bringing toy gun to school

Photo/EvanstPolice Dept.

Photo/Evanston Police Dept.

storyidforme: 41950117
tmspicid: 15516045
fileheaderid: 7015497

Updated: December 20, 2012 6:00PM

A 19-year-old Evanston Township High School student was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct Wednesday after police found a plastic air pellet gun that closely resembled a real semiautomatic handgun in his backpack.

Evanston Police responded to the school about 1 p.m. Wednesday after a student told a security officer he thought he saw a student with a gun, Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said.

Officers found the plastic Airsoft gun in the backpack of Adel Mohammed Sobhi, 19, Parrott said. The device shoots only plastic pellets but looks like a black semiautomatic 9 mm handgun.

“Unless you were up close looking at it, it would be hard to distinguish” between the toy gun and the real thing, Parrott said.

Air guns are prohibited by Evanston city ordinance, so a citation was issued to Sobhi and he was charged with disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor, Parrott said. No students were hurt and there was never a safety concern at any time during the incident, Parrott said.

“While this was not an actual weapon, any report of an alleged weapon at school or on school property is considered serious and will not be tolerated,” District 202 Supt. Eric Witherspoon said in a message to parents Wednesday.

Witherspoon asked parents and students to continue to report any suspicious activity to school officials.

Students, parents and staff may send an anonymous message to the school’s Text-A-Tip message line by texting “ETHS” to 274637 (CRIMES) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days.

Sobhi, of the 800 block of Mulford Street in Evanston, is next expected in court on Jan. 22, 2013.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.