Suspect in custody in Cardington schools threat

Staff Report

CARDINGTON — An local man is in custody after officials say a threat was made toward the Cardington-Lincoln Local School District this weekend.

Cardington Police Chief James Wallace said his office received a complaint and upon investigation placed Nicholas M. Smith, 33, of Cardington, into custody as a suspect.

“Smith is formally charged with aggravated menacing, making terroristic threats and domestic violence,” Wallace said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Superintendent Brian Petrie released a statement to news media on Sunday night saying the district received information from Cardington Village Police about the threat.

After the suspect was taken into custody and after consulting with law enforcement, Petrie said they determined the schools were safe from the threat and opened as scheduled Monday morning.

On Monday, Petrie released a statement, that reads in part:

“On Sunday, the district received communication from the Cardington Village Police that an adult had beenapprehended for making a verbal threat toward our school building that houses students in grades 5-12. In consultation with law enforcement we determined that any threat to the schools, staff and students waseliminated due to the individual being in custody.

“I decided to send a call last night, not to create panic, but as an attempt to reduce the rumors and uncertainty that can spread through social media.”

Petrie also addressed “multiple rumors and misinformation regarding the incident.”

“There have been reports that there were multiple individuals who made threats from the same incident. Law enforcement officials have confirmed that this information is false.

“What this situation tells us is that our commitment to student safety is working through the efforts of our families, staff and law enforcement. Our students and parents are asked to alert us or law enforcement when they witness suspicious activity or when they hear a threat. They did just that. All threats will be investigated thoroughly in cooperation with the village police and the sheriff’s department.”

Wallace added, “We would like to thank the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office and the Morrow County Prosecutors Office with their assistance in this matter.”

Staff Report

Correspondent Evelyn Long contributed to this report.

Correspondent Evelyn Long contributed to this report.