Posted at: 10/01/2013 10:58 PM
Updated at: 10/01/2013 10:59 PM
By: John Doetkott
School Locked Down During Nearby Manhunt
(ABC 6 News) -- A local school district didn't take any chances on Tuesday after learning a wanted man was on the loose nearby.
Around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, police in New Richland alerted officials at NRHEG schools that they were searching for a man with a felony warrant who had run from police after a routine traffic stop.
While police searched for him in a nearby corn field using a police helicopter, the school went on lockdown.
“A hard lockdown is kids are in the classroom, they're secure behind doors, lights are out, actually not even sitting at their desks,” said Dr. Dennis Goodwin, superintendent of the NRHEG School District.
Officials said students and staff stayed hidden for nearly an hour and a half before receiving word from police that the suspect had likely stolen a car and moved out of the area.
But despite the long wait, school officials said everyone handled the situation perfectly.
“I was extremely impressed with staff and the kids, no issues at all,” Dr. Goodwin said. “The kids were very respectful and I had several teachers comment that the kids did exactly what they were supposed to do."
Throughout the day, the school kept parents and family members up to date through phone calls and the school’s website.
“They were darn quick,” said Richard Schumacher, who has five grandchildren attending NRHEG. “That's what's nice about it, they were right on the ball."
School let out on time, and officials said they were very pleased with how things turned out.
“We’re going to take the side of safety and security for our kids far before we do anything else,” Dr. Goodwin said. “So we stayed on the side of security for our children."
As for the suspect, police aren’t saying much other than that he had a felony warrant for failing to appear in court on charges that he had burglary tools.
Police believe the man stole a black 2004 Honda Pilot with Minnesota license plate: 131 GCH.
If you have any information you are asked to contact the New Richland Police Department.