Alleged knife threat at nearby home prompts school lockdown

Posted at 9:37 PM, Dec 14, 2018

NILES TOWNSHIP, Mich.  —  An elementary school was placed on lockdown Friday in Berrien County because of an alleged assault attempt at a nearby home.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded to the assault report around 1:42 p.m. Friday at 1628 Florence Avenue. Two people inside the home told them they had been threatened by a 21-year-old man with a knife. That man also lived there.

Police reported no injuries.

Deputies were told the man with the knife had locked himself inside the residence. Members of the Berrien County Tactical Response Unit and the county’s Hostage Negotiation Team then tried to talk him out of the home.

But sheriff’s deputies later entered the home and found that the suspect had fled. Police reported no injuries.

Merritt Elementary School, about a block away from the home, was placed on lockdown, as a precaution. The Sheriff’s Office says no arrests were made, but charges have been sent to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for future filing. They include:

  • Assault with a dangerous weapon
  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Inferfering with communications
  • Possession of a controlled substance

Additional agencies that responded to the scene were the Niles City Police Department, Niles Township Fire Department and Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service.