OU Closed as Police Search for Armed Robber
Updated: Thursday, January 31 2013, 01:59 AM EST
ATHENS -- An off-campus robbery on Wednesday prompted the president of Ohio University to close campus for the first time in more than nine years due to a public safety threat.
President Roderick McDavis was briefed on the incident immediately after it occurred at approximately 9 a.m. He made the decision to close the school approximately an hour later after the suspect was spotted near campus.
According to police, the suspect approached a female student in front of her Station St. apartment, then stole $5 at gunpoint before fleeing the scene on foot.
"We had very little information on the suspect, or his weapon, or the mindset he was in," President McDavis told ABC 6/FOX 28. "We are mindful as to what happened in Newtown, other community colleges, and universities."
Some students thought the shutdown was an overreaction by university administration, including senior Evan Romanski, who was told he would not be paid after 1 p.m. for his work at the campus auditorium.
"I was supposed to work until 3 p.m. I need the money. I'm upset," said Romanski. "He robs someone of $5 and the whole campus is closed. It could be classified as overkill."
Along with classes, the university also canceled its basketball game Wednesday night. Classes will resume Thursday morning.
The suspect in the robbery that prompted the school's closure is still at large.
Reporter: Lisa Rantala
Web Producer: Ken Hines