PANDORA — A 58-year-old Lima man was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon and was preliminarily charged with inducing panic for penning a letter to his ex-wife in which he allegedly made rambling threats against Pandora-Gilboa schools and an unnamed Catholic priest.
The threat caused the Putnam County school to operate under a Code Yellow lockdown alert throughout the day Tuesday.
Arrested was Robert Miller, of the 300 block of Colony Trail. Officials from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office said Miller had written a “difficult to decipher” letter to his ex-wife in which he referenced an unnamed “God damn catholic priest” and stated “Pandora Gilboa Elementary School” and “we all will blow that (expletive) elementary school and priest to Kingdom Come,” according to a sheriff’s office press release.
Deputies made contact with Miller at his residence Monday night. The man stated he did not have any means or real intention to attack the school or anyone else, and he was just trying to scare his ex-wife for reasons still unknown, officials said.
The Allen County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau conferred with the Lima Municipal Court Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday morning, and an arrest warrant was issued for Miller’s arrest. At approximately 2 p.m. Tuesday, Miller was taken into custody on U.S. 30, following a traffic stop by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
According to P-G Superintendent Todd Schmutz, school officials learned of the letter in question from Allen County Sheriff’s Office authorities late Monday.
Schmutz said neither the individual who wrote the letter nor its recipient appear to have any connection to the Pandora-Gilboa school district. As a precaution, school officials elected to implement the Code Yellow alert.
The superintendent said the district was “operating as normal inside the school doors” on Tuesday but noted that students were not being allowed to exit the building. All people entering the school were being carefully screened, Schmutz said.
Pandora Police Chief Scott Stant remained at the school Tuesday, “which isn’t unusual,” said Schmutz. “He’s here a lot. We’re just being extra cautious today.”
By mid-afternoon Tuesday, the Code Yellow alert had been lifted.
“All evening activities are proceeding as scheduled,” Schmutz said.