COVINGTON — Covington schools were under a brief but limited lockdown this morning after there was a report of a chase suspect being pursued by Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies in the area. Covington Superintendent Gene Gooding explained that students were not in a full blown lockdown situation but the schools were keeping students inside and not allowing them to travel between the high school and the K-8 building.
Gooding said that school day began at around 8 a.m. and that the doors generally open at around 7:40 a.m. but they were allowing any students who showed up early to immediately enter the building.
“The external doors are always locked,” Gooding said. “As soon as anyone showed up at the building, we brought them in the building.”
There was also an emergency team in place as staff members manned each of the doors while students attended class. Gooding commended the Covington Police Department for keeping them informed so that Covington schools could best react for the safety of their students.
“The Covington Police were wonderful in their communication with us,” Gooding said. “The safety of our students is our absolute number one concern.”
Covington schools ended that heightened sense of security and limited mobility for the students shortly after 9 a.m.
“We’re back to business as usual,” Gooding said.
The pursuit that sparked this limited lockdown first began on the 500 block of South Street in Piqua at approximately 6:12 a.m. this morning when there was a report of a stolen truck. According to Major Steve Lord of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect passed a deputy at the intersection of Peterson and Farrington roads, where a pursuit then ensued on Farrington Road. The pursuit came to an end in the area of State Routes 41 and 48 where the vehicle crashed into a house.
The suspect reportedly fled on foot and is still being sought after by Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies. The Miami County Sheriff’s Office called in a K-9 unit in an attempt to locate the suspect. Most recently, a call came in at approximately 8:23 a.m. of another theft in progress where a truck on Covington Gettysburg Road was reported stolen. Deputies believe this vehicle — a 2007 green Ford F150 — was taken by the same suspect, and they are continuing to search for him and the stolen vehicle.
The suspect is not believed to be dangerous or violent.
“We don’t have any reason to believe this person is armed and dangerous,” Lord said.
Deputies also believe that the suspect may be heading west toward Darke County, and the Miami County Sheriff’s Office has notified the Darke County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local police departments in the area.
Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected] or (937) 451-3336