New Castle News

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February 21, 2014

Misunderstanding prompted campus lockdown

NEW CASTLE — A student running to get to class on time inadvertently triggered a campus lockdown Wednesday.

Union Township police said Thursday the young man told officers he had gotten off the bus at Walmart and headed for the Butler County Community College.

He said he had taken a shortcut over a public right-of-way, which runs through several backyards on the south side of Route 224. A woman who lives in a nearby house, noticed him going past a neighbor’s house and garage. Suspecting something might be wrong, she began following him.

Realizing he would be late to class, the student said, he broke into a jog. He told police he never noticed the woman following him.

The woman lost sight of the student and went into the college building, police said, and did not recognize him when he held the door open for her.

She wrongly identified another student, who was then questioned by officers, police said. But police found he could not be the one the woman had seen because other students had been with him the whole time.

Eventually police located the student the woman had been following. The owners of the house the woman suspected the student had broken into found no evidence of a break-in.

The youth was questioned and released.

Police said initial reports of a gun were false, but resulted in the college imposing the lockdown.

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