The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body

The BluePrint

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Individual behaving erratically on campus leads to arrest
School+security+and+Bellwood+police+responded+to+an+incident+last+Friday+in+which+an+intruder+made+his+way+into+the+outdoor+classroom.
Photo courtesy of Abi Eckenrod
School security and Bellwood police responded to an incident last Friday in which an intruder made his way into the outdoor classroom.

On Friday, April 26 during 1st period, a reverse evacuation and soft lock down was put in place at Bellwood-Antis High School after an individual was spotted behaving erratically on campus.

In response to this situation, safety protocols were implemented with the assistance of the Bellwood Police Department, and the individual was taken into custody. The soft lockdown was enacted to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

The issue was resolved without harm to anyone on campus because of the swift cooperation between the Bellwood-Antis staff and law enforcement.

Tim Mercer, the head of B-A’s school security department, said he was proud of the way the district conducted the emergency procedure.

”We practiced an incident similar to this last year,” he said. “I want to commend our students and staff for remaining calm and following our emergency plan to perfection.”

I want to commend our students and staff for remaining calm and following our emergency plan to perfection.

— Officer Tim Mercer

Officer Mercer said an individual was first reported on campus by Mr. McNaul, who said he witnessed a man in the outdoor classroom wearing camouflage with two dogs.

Officer Mercer said he and Officer Jeff Hannah responded immediately and found the man acting in an unsettled manner. The man was identified as Daniel Richardson of Altoona, a person with no known connection to Bellwood-Antis High School.

“We asked him what he was doing, and he said he was here on a military mission and was under the impression he was at Link Computers,” Officer Mercer said. “He acted erratically and aggressively towards Officer Hannah and I in his language and demeanor.”

Officer Mercer said they attempted to deescalate the situation while also securing the two dogs running free in the courtyard.

Bellwood Borough police eventually arrived on the scene and made the arrest. Richardson was charged with attempting to disarm a police officer, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

The Central Pennsylvania dog law enforcement officer arrived to take the man’s dogs.

The district quickly sent an email to families to reassure them school security had the situation under control. The message read, in part:

Following a thorough assessment and confirmation of the safety of our school premises, we are pleased to inform you that normal operations are resuming. Classes will proceed as scheduled for the remainder of the day.

The safety and well-being of our students and staff are our utmost priority, and we take any incident of this nature very seriously. We will continue to work closely with the authorities to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to maintain a secure environment for learning.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we navigate through this situation together. Your continued trust and partnership are greatly appreciated.

Officer Mercer said an important lesson to learn from the event is to report any strange activity immediately.

”If you see something, say something,” he said.

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