The Paw Print

Local man trespasses school, causes lockdown

Emily Byrne, Staff Writer

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On Sept. 13, students cowered in corners and built barricades with all of the lights off.

A 25-year-old man tried to enter the high school by claiming he wanted to sign up for Excel TECC classes. He was carrying a duffel bag.

The office noticed he was an unfamiliar face and alerted the Mayfield Village police, who arrived quickly at the scene and escorted the man out.

They checked his bag and found nothing but clothes.

Principal Jeff Legan recognized the man, who was a Mayfield student that found trouble in 2010.

When such recognition was made, MHS was sent into a lockdown.

During this lockdown, many students including junior Adelisa Melez were frightened. Melez said, “I was in math and scared. Everyone got up fast and went to the corner of the room and was very quiet.”

Melez was unaware of what was going on. “I was scared because no one really knew what was going on. People thought he had a gun, since all we heard was that we were going into lockdown and it wasn’t a drill,” Melez said.

Sophomore Vonte Williams was among one of the students who witnessed the man trying to enter the building.

Williams was unaware of the situation at first. “I was scared because when it started I was in the bathroom and didn’t hear that it was a lockdown. My teacher just said go in the closet. I asked if it was a lockdown then when she said yes, I pushed the bookshelf in front of the door,” Williams said.

Junior Jack Giesey witnessed the panic that spread throughout the school. “I was in Ms. Cioffi’s class. After the announcement that came through saying it wasn’t a drill, everyone panicked,” Giesey said.

Many students, including Giesey, tried contacting their parents throughout the lockdown. He said, “I was pretty scared and my text to my parents saying that I was ok wouldn’t send so that made me super anxious.”

Students tried running, against the advisement to stay in one place. Giesey said, “I had no idea what he looked like or where he was, and we heard lots of banging on desks and the floor while people were moving them. Some people ran and caused a chain reaction of people running.”

While fear existed within school, it continues to haunt students like junior Danielle Wallace and sophomore Arielle Damanti outside of school.

Wallace was walking to and from work when the man approached her. Wallace said, “I was walking to work and this weird older guy saw me walking towards McDonald’s and turned around. He came up to me and asked me if i was ok and walked really close behind me back into McDonald’s.”

Wallace alleges she was harassed by him. “This guy waited for nine hours in the lobby. After he left McDonald’s for a while, I left work and right when I get near Bruegger’s, I see him again walking towards me. He got very close to me and asked me if I had a cigarette,” Wallace said.

Wallace shortly figured out the man following her was the man who tried to enter the school. “After I found out it was the same guy who entered the school and the same guy who stabbed someone eight years ago, I was terrified over the fact that he could’ve easily done something to me,” Wallace said.

Wallace was not the only one to be approached by this man.

The man approached sophomore Arielle Damanti at the Mayfield Heights Speedway on Mayfield Rd. Damanti said, “Me and my grandma were sitting in the car with the windows rolled down. He asked my grandma for money and cigarettes, but she had none to give him.”

Damanti was going to give him money, before figuring out his identity. She said, “At first I felt bad because he was struggling, but then I figured out he was the guy who [trespassed at] school, and I felt bad for him.”

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Emily Byrne, Staff Writer

Emily Byrne is a junior staff member at The Paw Print.

She has attended Mayfield since preschool and has been writing pieces of all topics and types...

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Local man trespasses school, causes lockdown