By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK — Three Allen Park schools were placed under a two-hour lockdown May 24 while police investigated suspicious activity in the surrounding area.
Barbara Zdrodowski, administrative assistant to the Allen Park superintendent, said the schools – Lindemann Elementary, Allen Park Middle School, and Riley Education Center – received information around 10:40 a.m. about a police matter in the area. The incident was later confirmed by Interim Police Chief James Wilkowitz, who said a suspect was being pursued in the area.
The suspect was one of four men allegedly acting suspicious when spotted by police on routine patrol in the Park Avenue and Maylawn Street area, Wilkowitz said.
He said the officer noticed the suspects trying to hide themselves from view by ducking down in their vehicle and reclining their seats.
Wilkowitz said the officer tried to make contact with the occupants of the car and a subsequent car chase ensued, which ended when the car crashed at the intersection of Midway and Carter avenues. The suspects, he said, exited the car and continued to flee on foot.
Police apprehended the other suspects linked to the incident. The all-clear was given to the schools around 12:40 p.m.
“We had to look at the history of these kinds of incidents,” Wilkowitz said, adding that fleeing suspects don’t want to stay in an area with a heavy police presence, but police “felt safe to say he is no longer in the area of our students.”
During an investigation, police learned the suspects planned to break into a house in the area. The driver of the vehicle had an extensive criminal history and possessed a .45-caliber handgun. The handgun was recovered.
Both the gun and the vehicle were later confirmed stolen from Lincoln Park and Southgate, respectively. Police also confirmed one or more of the suspects were involved in a recent car theft in Allen Park.
The fourth suspect had not been located as of press time, and police were interviewing the suspects. The police are still attempting to locate the final individual involved.
(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at [email protected])