South Bend police release more info after they say suspect tried to get into school

Melvin Ward III // Photo provided

The St. Joseph County prosecutor is expected to file charges by the middle of next week against Melvin Ward III.

He's accused of leading South Bend Police on a two-mile chase after he was denied entry at Stanley Clark School.

The prosecutor is taking a little extra time to file charges. A representative from the office says they're allowed 72 additional hours to file charges in certain cases.

The prosecutor's office is using that extension to do more interviews with school staff.

It says they want to disrupt school functions as little as possible.

School was certainly disrupted Thursday. Students and staff were put on lockdown because staff thought Ward was armed.

After the chase, officers found he wasn't.

But police chief Scott Ruszkowski says the school did exactly what it was supposed to do in an emergency. He also praised his own officers.

"In my 29 years I have never seen anything or even heard of anything where literally an officer was being chased by a suspect,” said Ruszkowski,” and that's what it actually amounted to. But kudos to the officer and officers who essentially led this guy away from area schools, kept him occupied.”

Officers say Thursday's incident was an anomaly and people shouldn't be too worried.

The chief says parents should always be vigilant, but don't need to be hyper vigilant.

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