Ogden Elementary goes under lockout as police investigate sexual assault

By Tim Weideman

Ogden Elementary School was in a lockout for about an hour Tuesday afternoon as Riley County police investigated a sexual assault reported in the town.

Officer Matthew Droge said the incident didn’t take place at the school, but police notified Unified School District 383 of the situation shortly after 2 p.m.

Droge said an Ogden woman in her 20s reported that a man in his 30s, whom she knows, attacked and sodomized her.

RCPD policy is not to release specific locations of alleged sex crimes, so Droge said only that the incident occurred in Ogden.

Police were on scene and still investigating the incident later Tuesday afternoon. An arrest hadn’t been made as of Wednesday morning.

Michele Jones, USD 383 director of communications and school safety, said the school lockout was lifted shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Although Droge said the school’s decision to go into a lockout is up to district officials, Jones said that, in this case, police requested that action be taken.

“They were looking for a suspect, RCPD was,” she said.

It’s not uncommon for the department to make such a request, Jones said, even when an incident doesn’t happen on district grounds.

“Often times, RCPD is looking for somebody or investigating and they just ask,” she said.

A school lockout differs from a complete lockdown, which would be called for if a situation were to arise inside a school.

“Lockout is something that’s happening outside our building and we want to keep it outside,” Jones said.

City Commissioner Usha Reddi, a first-grade teacher at Ogden, spoke about the lockout Tuesday at the commission meeting.

“Nothing physically happened to (the students), but I can’t say mentally and emotionally something didn’t take place,” she said. “Those are conversations children are going to be having with their parents tonight.”

Reddi said the staff and children were well-trained for the moment.

“It’s a really scary moment,” she said, “but this isn’t the first time this has happened, and this isn’t the first school it’s happened with in our district.”

Bryan Richardson contributed to this report.

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