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Last week’s lockdown a hoax, police say

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Click here to read about potential charges against the camp counselor.

According to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department this afternoon, last week’s alleged gunman situation in Glen Helen was found to be “unsubstantiated,” according to a Sheriff’s Department press statement released at 2:30 p.m. The Glen Helen Eco Camp counselor who reported seeing a man with a gun near the cabins today admitted that he had fabricated the story.

“The reporting person was confronted with the investigative analysis in a follow-up interview and what was gathered by responding deputies at the time of the reported event,” the press statement said. “The staff member, on July 3, 2013, admitted to investigators that the claim was false. No such person existed as it was reported.”

The incident began around 11 a.m. last Thursday, June 27, when the counselor reported seeing a man who was acting suspicious and, when confronted, pulled up his shirt to reveal a handgun. The counselor called the police, and over the afternoon about a dozen officers from various jurisdictions combed the Glen, but found nothing. The Glen was closed and children in Eco camps were kept inside. Antioch College was also in lockdown for the afternoon. Police called off the search after not finding anyone late in the afternoon, but the incident sparked heightened fears and concerns in the village, especially among parents of the campers, many of whom came to pick up their children early.

According to Valerie Webster, Antioch College vice president for administration and finance, the counselor who made the false report has been placed on suspension and college officials are working with the sheriff to understand if legal action should be taken.

It is not known at this time why the counselor made the false statement.

Yellow Springs Police Chief Anthony Pettiford, whose officers assisted in last week’s search, said today that the lack of corrorborating evidence last week was a red flag to him.

“No one else saw him that day and it was like he just disappeared,” Pettiford said. “When that happens, it always makes me a little suspicious.”

That suspicion, he said, was “one reason not to go forward” with using the Village’s Hyper-Reach phone system last week to alert people to the alleged gunman.


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