College Ramps Up SecurityGAMBIER, Ohio (December 15, 2010)
Alarm raised over threats made against Kenyon students by a Gambier resident has eased as law enforcement authorities and the College took steps to safeguard the community.
John R. Freeman, forty, was arrested on December 11 by Knox County Sheriff's deputies, who said Freeman was overheard making threats against Kenyon students. Freeman had hoped that an attack on students would lead to a confrontation with deputies and his own death, deputies said. An AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was seized from the house where Freeman was staying in Gambier. No ammunition was found.
Freeman is free on a $10,000 bond. A plea of not guilty was entered for him by his attorney on December 14 in Mount Vernon Municipal Court, where Freeman faces a charge of inducing panic. A pre-trial hearing will be scheduled by the court. A mental health assessment of Freeman by the staff of the Moundbuilders Guidance Center in Mount Vernon took place while Freeman was in custody.
Freeman faces arrest if he trespasses on College property, and he has indicated that he has left Knox County and has no intention of returning to the campus area. He is no longer employed in the village. The College has heightened security measures, including hiring special-duty deputies and increasing campus patrols. The sheriff's office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol also agreed to increase patrols in Gambier.