Man Surrenders Early Today After Standoff Situation Outside Watson


Published on May 19 2022 2:28 pm
Last Updated on May 20 2022 2:14 pm
Written by Greg Sapp


A man surrendered to authorities early this morning, ending a standoff that lasted more than 14 hours outside Watson.

Effingham County Sheriff Paul Kuhns said the man, Matthew W. Reissen, surrendered at 4:10am today, coming out of his dwelling and surrendering to officers from the Illinois State Police Tactical Reponse Team.

Reissen was living in a home along Illinois Route 37 that was long the home of the Jack and Margaret Arnold family.

Kuhns said the 37-year-old Reissen was setting fires on and along the highway and throwing rocks at passing vehicles. When police responded shortly after 2pm Thursday, Reissen went inside the house and would not surrender. Due to concerns Reissen had weapons inside the home, police attempted to be non-confrontational and to talk him out of the house.

One piece of information released this morning by Sheriff Kuhns was that during the early morning hours, Reissen fired a weapon from inside the residence, striking the negotiators' armored vehicle and one of the outbuildings on the property. It was shortly after that incident that negotiations convinced Reissen to surrender to authorities, and he walked out of the residence and was taken into custody.

The sheriff said Reissen was taken for treatment for a cut on his hand.

The sheriff was appreciative of the agencies that participated in bringing the incident to a peaceful resolution. He said, "I thought the Illinois State Police Tactical Response Team showed a tremendous amount of restraint, as the chances of people getting hurt was high."

Sheriff Kuhns was thankful for the positive outcome of the incident and recognized the restraint and patience of the tactical operators, and all of the officers involved. Like many large incidents, several area emergency service agencies were involved. The sheriff wanted to like to thankful the Effingham City Police Department, Illinois State Police SWAT and negotiators, Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad, Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler, Illinois Department of Transportation, ARCH Air Medical Service, Rural Med EMS, Watson Fire Protection District, and Effingham County EMA.

The sheriff also especially thanked the congregation of Watson United Methodist Church for opening the doors to their dining hall and kitchen to all of the emergency responders. He said, "The generosity they showed is an outstanding example of our community."

A tree was blown down on Highway 37 due to the storms overnight. IDOT has cleared that tree.

The highway was re-opened shortly after 6am.

Law enforcement personnel spent time checking the residence after the incident concluded this morning. There were concerns that there were explosives inside the residence. Lieutenant Travis Buhnerkempe of the Effingham County Sheriff's Department said that crews took proper precautions before entering the residence, and that nothing was found that in its current state would be explosives.