CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – The Mahoning County Career and Technical Center went on lockdown briefly Monday morning after a student received a threatening text message from someone outside of the building, according to Canfield Assistant Police Chief Scott Weamer.
An 18-year-old has now been charged for sending the threatening text message, but that teenager’s name is not being released until he is served with the criminal charges, according to the Canfield Police Department.
The teen is charged with domestic violence, aggravated menacing, telecommunications harassment and inducing panic. Police said the suspect is not an MCCTC student, and he was taken to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
“It was not a student at the school that sent the message, it was received by someone inside the school building. They notified the administration, which is what should happen,” Assistant Chief Weamer said. “It is better to be safe than sorry, and anytime there is a concern about a threat, we’d rather go into lockdown and come out and make sure everything is OK. That is exactly what happened today.”
There were 700 students and 100 adult education students inside the building when it was placed on lockdown. They stayed inside, rather than being evacuated.
John Zehentbauer, assistant superintendent at MCCTC, said it was important to keep the building on lockdown, because the threat came from the outside and staff didn’t know if the suspect was on site.
After investigation, the suspect was located at home in Boardman, and he was detained until Canfield Police could arrive.
The school canceled the lockdown within 40 minutes and finished the school day as if nothing had happened.
“I was very impressed with the response time of Canfield Police,” said Zehentbauer. “We had the entire building secured within minutes. Canfield was on site within a minute.”
Weamer said it is important to speak up if a threat is made.
“See something, say something,” said Weamer. “That’s one of those statewide, national campaigns. It’s better to be safe than sorry any time there’s any concern about a threat. We’d rather go into a lockdown, come out and make sure everything is OK. That’s exactly what happened here.”