ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH)–Ohio University police announced they arrested a 25-year-old student on several charges after he allegedly assaulted a staff member at Bird Arena.
James D. Howard, of Canfield, was charged with burglary, a second-degree felony, and weapons under disability, a third-degree felony. He was enrolled as a student, police say, but withdrew from classes Monday.
Police say Howard reportedly entered a staff member’s office at Bird Arena around noon on Monday, shoved the staff member, and “attempted to strike him with a closed fist.”
They say he then left campus. Police were later told that Howard planned to buy a gun. OUPD obtained warrants for his arrest and notified surrounding law enforcement agencies for help locating him.
Late in the afternoon, Howard reportedly attempted to purchase a firearm in Logan. Deputies from the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office found him in Logan, where he was buying ammunition for a shotgun he had.
He was arrested and transported to the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail, where he is being held on a $35,000 bond.
Police say the burglary charge stems from his alleged assault of a staff member. The weapons under disability charge is because Howard was in possession of a firearm after being previously admitted to a mental health facility. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 13 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.