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Several Warwick schools briefly locked down during police pursuit
Jen Rodrigues and Daniel Kittredge

Several Warwick schools were placed on lock down for several minutes Thursday as police pursued two men following an attempted traffic stop.

Police requested the lock down “just for a precaution because they didn’t know what the occupants of the car had on them,” said Warwick Superintendent Dr. Richard D’Agostino, who added that a ConnectEd message was sent out to parents around noon to explain the situation. “At no time were any of the students in danger.”

Toll Gate High School, the Warwick Area Career & Technical Center, Winman Junior High School, Scott Elementary School and the Drum Rock Early Childhood Center were impacted by the lock down, which D’Agostino said began at approximately 11 a.m. and lasted roughly a half-hour.

Warwick Police Capt. Joseph Coffey said the incident began at approximately 10:46 a.m. when Officer Hovsep Sarkisian observed a white Nissan Maxima speeding in the area of Centerville Road.

The vehicle evaded the officer’s attempt to initiate a traffic stop and entered a nearby residential neighborhood, traveling onto a dead-end street. Sarkisian apprehended one of the suspects on foot, Coffey said, while the other was pursued into the woods abutting the Toll Gate complex. A perimeter was established, a K-9 unit called and the schools asked to go into lock down, police said.

Officer Daren Arrillo apprehended the second suspect on the edge of the perimeter, Coffey said.

Charges against the two men are pending, according to police.

Warwick Police Chief Col. Stephen McCartney praised the “outstanding response” of the department’s personnel.

“The exemplary command and containment displayed during this incident contributed to an efficient response and safe outcome,” he said.

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