Woman attempts to enter Pentwater school, chased by police

October 4, 2013


PENTWATER — Pentwater Police Department has reported that a woman attempted to forcefully gain entry into Pentwater High School Thursday morning. Police Chief Laude Hartrum, in a press release, said the 62 year-old woman attempted to gain entry into the school by telling school officials she was working with law enforcement and needed to use the bathrooms and inspect the cafeteria. Upon questioning schools officials became suspicious and refused her entry, she left the building.

“School officials initiated a lockdown and contacted the School Liaison Officer (SLO) who attempted to make contact the subject and investigate the situation,” Hartrum said. “The female subject left the scene in a car. When the SLO attempted to catch up to the vehicle the driver accelerated and sped away. The SLO activated his emergency lights and siren and the driver refused to stop.”

The pursuit traveled a route around the village of Pentwater and the vehicle eventually pulled over in the 200 block of South Hancock Street. The driver of the vehicle then refused to exit the car when directed by officers. The driver then backed into a fully marked patrol car and jumped the curb driving northbound on the sidewalk. The pursuit then continued.

Pentwater Police were assisted by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police from the Hart Post. The vehicle traveled east on Monroe Road to 88th Ave and then south to Lake Road. The suspect vehicle then turned north on Oceana Driver and then west onto State Street. Unable to cross the State Street Bridge, due to construction, the suspect vehicle left the road and attempted to double back on the police cars. Vehicles from Pentwater Police, MSP, and Oceana County attempted to block the suspect vehicles path and the driver of the vehicle rammed a Pentwater patrol car causing moderate damage.

The female suspect was taken into custody after a brief struggle with officers. The suspect was transported to Mercy Health – Lakeshore Campus for a psychological evaluation and was later involuntarily committed to a psychiatric treatment center. The incident remains under investigation and the case will be sent to the prosecutor’s office with a request for criminal charges.

“In all, two patrol cars received minor to moderate damage and no officers were injured during the incident. At no time did the suspect have any direct access to any students,” Hartrum said. “All the officers, troopers, and deputies involved did a great job today.”

The chief credited recent security improvements at Pentwater Public Schools and the quick actions of the School Liaison Officer, Officer Randy Lentz for bringing the situation to a quick end. “We want to make sure that we aggressively investigate any potential threats at our school.” said Chief Hartrum. “The students safety is one of our highest priorities. “

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