Lock-down at St. Pius school ends without injuries

Reynoldsburg officials breathed a collective sigh of relief that everything turned out all right following a lockdown at St. Pius X School, 1061 Waggoner Road.

At the April 21 meeting of the Reynoldsburg City Council Safety Committee, Lt. James O’Neill updated city officals on the situation.

"We had an incident earlier today in the area of St. Pius," O’Neill explained.

At about 10:30 a.m. that day, police received a tip that a man living in a nearby apartment complex was threatening violence.

"He said he was going to commit suicide and take some people with him," O’Neill said.

At that point, the police department notified the school that the students could be in danger.

"The decision was made by the principal at St. Pius to go ahead and put the kids on lockdown," he said. The students remained inside the building until the end of the school day at about 2:30 p.m.

Eventually, police found the man who allegedly made the threat passed out in a vehicle in front of a house in Marietta. The Marietta police took over and were in the process of interviewing the man to determine his mental state when O’Neill updated council.

"At this point we don’t have charges against him," O’Neill said, noting the man will definitely face a misdemeanor charge of inducing panic, if not additional charges, from the city of Reynoldsburg.

Councilwoman Antoinette Newman thanked the police for their efforts.

"I would just like to say I appreciate your prompt action on this," she said.

Also during the meeting, the Service Committee heard a presentation by Roger Bartley, spokesman for John Swartz, who is applying for a special exception use permit for an automotive repair shop at 1349 Suite B Brice Road.

Swartz has been operating a business without the correct permit for some time. In order to receive a six month temporary permit, Swartz has agreed to line the parking area to help keep the cars waiting for repairs parked neatly and improve the landscaping to shield the view of the business from Brice Road. Council will consider whether to grant the business a six-month temporary permit.

The Safety Committee agreed to propose legislation allowing the city to bid for the 2008 fireworks.

The Finance Committee agreed to waive competitive bidding for various exempted contracts and expenditures over $10,000.

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