AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Austintown Trustees were offering words of advice to the community on Monday: Stay out of the way while police are busy protecting your children at school.
“The problem is, you being there interferes with the possibility of saving a lot of lives,” said Trustee Ken Carano.
That happened Friday when a couple dozen parents and family members showed up at the Intermediate School wanting to know why a “soft-lockdown” had been put in place.
Monday afternoon, two men appeared in court after being arrested at the school Friday.
Frank Catell is charged with hampering officers at an emergency, while Mark Butcher is accused of threatening police and resisting arrest.
The confrontation prompted calls for backup, and surveillance video shows officers rushing from the station to get there. In their haste, one of them darted out in front of a cruiser just pulling out and was hit and knocked to the pavement.
Detective Shawn Hevener is OK, but trustees were clearly upset that their officers are getting hurt handling calls at the school.
“The last thing they need are further distractions to what’s going on in that school district,” said Trustee Jim Davis. “They did not need parents rushing to the scene.”
The lockdown was initiated after a pair of threatening notes were found in the school Thursday and Friday. Parents started showing up after administrators put out a “one call” to explain the situation.
Ironically, police say the campus is one of the most secure in the Valley.
“We have more officers patrolling on those 110 acres than we do on the 25 square miles that we do in Austintown,” said Lt. Tom Collins.
Trustees stress that parents and the public need to trust that the police will do their jobs and protect their loved ones.
As for the lockdown, police reported finding no credible threat.