19-Year-Old Arrested With Knife At Westerville South High School


UPDATED: Thursday January 31, 2013 5:42 PM

School officials are informing parents that a 19-year-old was arrested at Westerville South High School for carrying a knife.

It happened during lunch period on Wednesday.

School officials said Nekoda Alan Leach entered school property with a student to bring lunch to another student.

A school resource officer did not recognize Leach, and approached him for questioning.

That’s when the resource officer noticed a knife clip in the man’s pocket and then found an eight inch lockback knife.

“I feel there's a lot of safety things that happened at South that keep our kids protected. I do feel that something like that is isolated, but then again, anything that happens like that is isolated,” said parent Aaron Linden.

Leach reportedly told school officials the knife was for his personal safety, but Westerville South is a designated "weapons free zone.”

He is now charged with a felony count of possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds.

Parents said they're relieved to hear the situation was handled without incident but are concerned they didn't hear about it sooner.

"No, I'm sure my daughter would have told me if, you know, she knew about it. So that's not good,” said parent Lisa Tingley-Hock.

In the letter sent home to parents, Principal Steve Andersson said the school resource officer determined Leach was not, and is not, a threat to student safety.

“I feel at South we have some of the best teachers in Central Ohio and I think they handled it, and they do a good job with the kids. And they're very respectful, and they handle it in a very upfront manner,” added Linden.

In light of the situation, school officials are reminding anyone who enters school property to follow protocols, by reporting to the main office and signing in. They said that protects guests and students.

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