A domestic altercation that occurred at Warm Springs Middle School on Friday, September 1 at dismissal time resulted in the arrest of a Berkeley Springs man and the delay of dismissal at the school.
A 911 call was received about a disturbance at a Morgan County School, said Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer. It was unclear as to whether the incident was taking place at Berkeley Springs High School or the middle school since they received calls about both schools. They first responded to the high school, then headed to the middle school.
Sheriff Bohrer said he arrived first at Warm Springs Middle School and encountered a male subject in a domestic altercation with his ex, a student’s mother, who was in a car in the dismissal pick-up line. The man was preventing her from leaving and also preventing buses from leaving and was gesturing and posturing, Bohrer said.
Bohrer said when he tried to talk with the man about what was happening, he became resistant and ran off. They had to chase him.
Sheriff Bohrer and Sheriff’s Deputy Corporal Jesse Hedrick arrested the man that Bohrer identified as Matthew Reeves, age 36, of Berkeley Springs. Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant Scott Lemon and West Virginia State Trooper Blake Meyers also responded to the scene.
Bohrer said that Reeves was charged with two counts of obstructing an officer. Reeves was also served with an emergency protective order that his ex applied for. He is currently in custody at the Eastern Regional Jail with a court date set, Bohrer said.
Bohrer said in a social media post after the incident that there was “no danger to any student or school at this time.”
Morgan County Schools also alerted parents on their social media pages on Friday that a suspicious person was in the roadway at Warm Springs Middle School during dismissal. The school was placed on code red and lockdown and law enforcement was called. Students were kept in their classrooms with their teachers while the situation was resolved.
Parents also got a phone call that buses would be delayed at least 20 minutes.
The incident caused a delay in dismissal and traffic disruption. Law enforcement arrived and apprehended the individual.
School Superintendent Kristen Tuttle said in an email that a man was reportedly dropped off by a car during dismissal and was holding up traffic.
“Administration acted quickly to secure students and called law enforcement to handle the man. The man did run when police arrived and was chased and arrested by law enforcement. One of the middle school teachers aided in catching the man,” Tuttle said.
“We appreciate the quick response of the school administration and safety team as well as the actions of law enforcement to handle the situation. No one was harmed and dismissal resumed once the man was in police custody,” Tuttle added.
“As always, we make the safety of our students a top priority and appreciate everyone’s patience while the situation was handled,” said the Morgan County Schools Facebook post.
Warm Springs Middle School Principal Jamie Harris said that he was inside the building doing PA announcements for dismissal while Assistant Principal Ben Kase was supervising the bus loop. Kase alerted Harris that they had a situation outside that needed law enforcement.
Harris said that he and his school safety team immediately went outside and got students to return to the building to their classrooms for lockdown. School buses were also secured. Harris said that getting students back in the building was top priority.