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Gun pulled at playground

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According to the Yellow Springs Police Department, at 7:49 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8, a caller told police that a man pulled a gun and aimed it at a small dog at the Mills Lawn Elementary School playground.

YS Police Officer Doug Andrus responded, and according to several witnesses found that a local 15-year old was holding the dog on a leash at the time of the incident. The dog is a 12-pound terrier, according to posts on social media.

According to a witness account, while the dog was barking, the man pointed the gun at the dog and stated, “I was bitten by a dog once before. It won’t happen again!”

Not long after, the man, who was with a woman and two children, returned to his vehicle, described as a silver sedan, and left the area, witnesses reported.

The suspect was described as a white male with tattoos on his arms and brown or red hair with a beard on his jaw. The man was said to be wearing a denim vest, a short-sleeve T-shirt and blue jeans with holes in them. Police urge residents to be on the lookout for the man.

The suspect was also seen with a large beach ball that may have come from Scene 75, an entertainment center in Dayton, according to a witness.

According to YS Police Chief Carlson this week, it is a crime to carry a gun on school premises, even in an open carry state. For that crime he could be charged with illegal possession of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone, a fourth-degree felony. Because the suspect allegedly unholstered and pointed the weapon at the dog, he could additionally face charges for aggravated menacing, a fifth-degree felony.

Neither the suspect nor his vehicle were caught on downtown security cameras, Carlson added this week.

Reached for comment, Mills Lawn Principal Matt Housh said the district is focused on student safety and support for the victim, who is a Yellow Springs High School student.

“Our primary role is to make sure our students are OK,” he said. “There was a student that was directly impacted, so we reached out to the family to support them.”

Housh added that the incident was “shocking” and hopefully won’t recur. But  if anyone sees a gun on school premises, they should immediately call the police.


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