School bus held hostage for training exercise - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

School bus held hostage for training exercise

LAKE TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A Rossford schoolbus filled with students and staff members was taken hostage by a man armedwith a gun. The hostages' hands were raised in the air, tied together. It wasall part of a real-time training exercise at Owens Community College.

Studentswere told they were going to be part of a demonstration, or training exercise,but they didn't know it would be a hostage drill until it was already inprogress.

"Itscared us because we didn't think it was him, because he got on the bus wearingnormal clothes," said Justin Klocko. "Then after five minutes of leaving, hestarted putting on a mask and a gun and a vest and he started tying everybodydown to the chairs."

Thegunman was an actor, but the students say the demonstration was a wake-up callabout their safety.

"Hetied my ankle to the seat and I was just thinking, ‘If I need to get out of this,how will I be able to?'" said Kathleen Hermes, one of the hostages.

ASWAT team surrounded the bus to take control. The exercise was broadcast toschool staff members in real-time. The realization was that this could happenon any bus, at any time.

Studentssay they learned a life-saving lesson from police about the drill.

"[It]prepared us, like, to listen," Klocko said. "They told us not to be heroes."

Studentssay they should always be aware of what's going on around them, because nowthey know no place, even a school bus, is completely safe.

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