Kent State Tuscarawas undergoes lockdown after threats

Ian Flickinger-Galeza

Kent State at Tuscarawas and the Buckeye Career Center entered lockdown Tuesday after police were notified of a planned assault.

 “At approximately 1:30 p.m. today, April 5, 2016, Kent State University at Tuscarawas went into lockdown upon advice from the New Philadelphia Police Department,” said Pamela Patacca, public relations coordinator for the Tuscarawas campus. “Upon further investigation from the department, the lockdown was lifted, which lasted approximately 15 minutes.”  

According to Shawn Nelson, New Philadelphia’s police chief, the department was made aware of threats toward a student in class at the Tuscarawas campus.

“We received information that a male and female were having some type of a relationship disagreement and that the male subject had made some general threats toward another male subject who had befriended this female,” he said.

The police chief said the male being threatened is a Kent State student who was in class at the time of the lockdown. The male subject intended to harm the student either on campus or when he was leaving class.

Nelson said the department erred on the side of caution and asked the university and career center to enter lockdown while they identified the subject and determined the validity of the complaint.

After officers identified the subject, the department contacted Gary Holland, Newcomerstown’s chief of police, and asked him to verify the subject’s location, Nelson said.

“Once we determined that, we terminated the lockdown and now will be in the process of reviewing the situation and determining if it was simply a basic menacing situating or if it was a situation causing panic or alarm,” he said.

Nelson said the department is still investigating the complaint, but believes it to be a case of a disagreement within a relationship.

“A basic— as basic as they can become, you know— interaction between boyfriend and girlfriend when there’s another male subject involved,” Nelson said. “He had some frustrations and verbalized them and, again, we were on the side of caution—just to make sure there’s not an intent to do something more sinister.”

The police chief praised the campus’ staff and student body for properly executing the lockdown procedure, which allows the officers to resolve the situation.

Ian Flickinger is the senior editor for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].