ENOLA, Pa. (WHTM) – East Pennsboro Township Police have located a man who was experiencing a mental health crisis and ran into the woods, causing several schools to lock down and police to ask residents to lock their doors.
“A person walked away from their house who had made some threats and is having a mental health crisis,” East Pennsboro Township Police Chief Mark Green said, saying those threats referred to threats of suicide.
Police said they found the man was found near Tower Road after police were initially focused on the area of Valley and Salt Roads. Green said he was taken to the hospital to get any necessary physical and mental care.
Students and staff at East Pennsboro Area High School, East Pennsboro Area Middle School, and East Pennsboro Elementary School were placed on lockdown due to the police activity near the campus, according to a letter sent by the district to families.
Green said no threats were made against the school, the children inside the school are safe and that the lockdown is just a precaution.
“Just wanted to go the extra mile to ensure the safety of the kids and the staff there,” he said.
Police also asked neighbors in the area to lock their doors and call 911 if they saw anything suspicious. Green could not say whether the man police were looking for was armed, but wanted to take every precaution.
“We don’t want anybody from the public if they see somebody suspicious to try to engage somebody, just have them call 911,” he said.
A Pennsylvania State Police helicopter and Cumberland County’s SERT team also assisted with the search. SWAT units were also seen near Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
Around 1 p.m., police found the man and lifted the school lockdown. At this point, police do not expect any charges to be filed.
“It came in as a mental health crisis and continued as that,” Green said. “To my knowledge, at this early stage, they made no threats towards anybody else, the school was never threatened.”
Green also said police have had some previous interactions with this man. He said the department does look at how to prevent these crises in the future.