Assaults on students force lockdown of a Toledo school

Woodward student Daran White expresses fear about walking to school.
Woodward student Daran White expresses fear about walking to school.

TOLEDO -- Several reports of violent attacks against Toledo students Thursday morning forced Toledo Public Schools to lock down a high school.

The district locked down Woodward High School on E. Streicher for an hour Thursday morning so police could search for suspects inside the school, reports News 11's Lisa Rantala.

Many students who attend Woodward High School say they have no choice but to walk to class. Rantala asked, "Do you ever get nervous when you're walking to school?"

Student Daran White said, "I check behind my back all the time, I be scared."

That walk led to a violent attack for three of Daran White's classmates Thursday morning. One teenage boy was robbed at gunpoint on Ontario and Ash, another believes he was robbed by the same man at Mulberry and Central, and a 15 year-old was raped at gunpoint on Mulberry behind a shed.

Neighbor Ashley Ragusa said, "I hear all the kids out here every morning, and they're just being loud and having a good time. I try to pay attention, but I never thought this would happen right here in my backyard."

Woodward High School then went on lockdown after hearing some students say the suspects might be inside.

TPS Superintendent John Foley said, "We did a building-by-building, room-by-room check, of all classrooms and all sites."

After an hour, the school found nothing and police were still looking for the two armed men. Seven school resource officers and 12 campus protection officers make up the TPS force. Foley admits, "It's very difficult to cover all the streets and all the access to our schools in terms of walking to and from school."

White worries he would fall victim to the next attack. "I'm only a 14 year-old," he said. "That's why I pray every night."

Authorities say a suspect in one of the assaults has been booked. TPS lifted the lockdown around 9:30 a.m.

Police say the alleged rape victim was taken to the hospital for examination.

Updated by LS