Politics

Man accused of assault, vandalism during Ohio daycare rampage

WEST CHESTER, OH (WLWT) -An Ohio man has been arrested and charged with vandalism and assault after he allegedly broke into a day care center Monday afternoon.

Jason Lehman, 38, is accused of forcing his way into the Children's Learning Adventure Center off Route 747 in West Chester.Several people inside the center called 911 around 1:45 p.m. on Monday, WLWT reported.

"Hurry, he's trying to break down the door. Oh, my God, he's in. Hurry, hurry, he's in. He's going to hurt somebody," one woman said. "Oh, my God, he's hurting people."

That caller said Lehman reeked of alcohol. She also said he had been inside the center before and had filled out an application.

Lehman is accused of punching a man inside the center and destroying nearly $3,000 worth of equipment, including iPads and a computer.

"He's just crazy," another woman said in a 911 call.

Children were inside the center at the time. One caller said the children were in the back of the building. In a letter sent to parents, the daycare center said it immediately went into lockdown when the man entered the facility.

In a letter to customers, regional manager Lisa Paeltz said:

It is important for us to keep all of our families informed and up-to-date with matters involving your Children's Learning Adventure Center. Earlier today there was an incident when a person was able to breach the secure doors of our building and gain entry. The person yanked the entry door so forcefully he was able to break the locking mechanism. Our staff responded quickly and decisively. Part of the management team alerted all classrooms to go into immediate in-place lockdown, while others contacted the authorities. The trespasser did not go after any person and seemed more intent on damaging property. The police arrived, subdued, and arrested the man in short order. None of our children witnessed the incident. We are taking immediate action to re-secure the building and replace all damaged equipment. This appears to have been a random occurrence without any motive. Our team was quick to follow their training for this type of situation and quickly did everything to assure the children and staff remained safe and secure.

During Lehman's arraignment on Tuesday, he asked to be released on his own recognizance.

Judge Dan Haughey denied that request.

"When there's allegations that I've got somebody assaulted and property damage done-- they're alleging almost $3,000 worth of property damage-- I don't know what's going on here, but it's not a situation where I feel like the public is being protected if I just grant an OR (own recognizance) bond on something of that nature," Haughey said.

Haughey set Lehman's bond at $35,000.

A manager at Children's Learning Adventure Center said she couldn't comment and referred WLWT to the corporate office, which did not return our call.

Lehman is due back in Butler County Area 3 Court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.


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