Man triggers lockdown at schools
Pence Elementary School and Fairfield Middle School were under a Level I lockdown Wednesday for about 10 minutes during lunch recess due to a suspicious individual on the FMS grounds.
Fairfield police arrived on scene and arrested the individual, identified as Clifford Eugene Williams, 36, of Ottumwa for interference with official acts.
According to the police report, Williams tried to gain entry to the middle school through a locked door. Fairfield Community School District Superintendent Art Sathoff said school employees approached Williams before initiating lockdown status.
“He was hanging around, looking out of place,” said Sathoff. “He didn’t seem to have a purpose there and could have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
Under a Level I lockdown, students stay in the building and continue with normal school activities. People are not allowed to enter or leave the building until the lockdown is lifted.
“I don’t think the individual had any ill intent toward the kids,” said Sathoff, “but if there’s someone under the influence on school grounds, it heightens our concern.”
The police had arrested Williams at 7:33 a.m. Tuesday in the Kum and Go parking lot for two counts of interference with official acts and public intoxication – enhanced. Police Capt. Dave Thomas said the law center waits to release an intoxicated individual until he or she is deemed sober, but said it can be difficult to determine intoxication from drugs.
Williams remained in the Jefferson County Jail this morning. Thomas said Williams had the option to post bail or to see a judge within 24 hours of incarceration. The judge will determine whether he should be released until his court date or if he is considered a danger to society, in which case the judge would set a bond.