Niles suspect arrested Wednesday, following call investigation

BERRIEN COUNTY — A Niles man who is suspected to have made a false phone call to police about a potential gunman at Eau Claire High School was arrested Wednesday night.

Justin Alen Bashore, 32, as a passenger in the back seat of a car, when Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Crosby stopped the vehicle on M-140 near Napier Avenue at approximately 7:56 p.m. Bashore was arrested and lodged at the Berrien County Jail without incident.

He had the following warrants out for his arrest:

• False reporting, issued by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Depratment

• Resisting and obstructing, issued by the Eau Claire Police Department

• Friend of the Court, Berrien County FOC

• Assault and battery domestic violence, issued by the Dowagiac Police Department

• Friend of the Court, Cass County FOC

Authorities have emphasized that these charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent, until or unless proven guilty.

The most recent charge Bashore received, false reporting, stems from an incident that occurred at approximately 3:55 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, when the Berrien County Public Safety Dispatch Center received a 9-1-1 call from a male subject, stating that there was a teenage male in the bathroom of the high school with a rifle. The caller did not identify themselves and stated that his phone was losing power.

Police officers from the surrounding area responded to the possible armed subject in the school and a search of the building was conducted. At the completion of the search, it was found that there was not anyone in the building with a firearm and no one was injured. Students and staff were escorted out of the building so that parents were able to make contact with their children.

In an earlier news release issued by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, police said they had reason to believe that Bashore placed the call.