Tzouanakis placed on lockdown following drug investigation in area
A police investigation into a possible drug deal on the city's north side led Greencastle Schools officials to place Tzouanakis Intermediate School on lockdown Monday afternoon.
At 1:17 p.m. Officer Darrel Bunten of the Greencastle Police Department was dispatched to a possible drug transaction in the parking lot Northview Apartments at Albin Pond and Houck roads.
Two men initially fled the scene, with another fleeing after Bunten discovered a substance that appeared to be methamphetamine inside of a car.
Due to the proximity to Tzouanakis, GPD Chief Tom Sutherlin notified school officials, who chose to keep children inside for the remainder of the day.
Superintendent Dawn Puckett sent a recorded message to all parents in the corporation at 2:57 p.m.
"As soon as staff were notified (of the police incident), all students were kept inside safely for the day," Puckett said. "At the time of this call, two individuals have not yet been apprehended by the police."
With the suspects still at large, school authorities took special precautions, releasing as normal, but "with appropriate police presence."
Any students who normally walk home had to wait in the office until their parents either arrived or arranged for transportation.
"We apologize for the late notice but given the timing of the events, this was the earliest opportunity we have had to notify parents and we have opted for taking the safest measures possible," Puckett said.
Bunten emphasized that the school and students never appeared to be in danger, but that proximity likely dictated the decision to lock down the school.
"There were no guns. There were no threats of violence," he said.
As for the investigation, two other suspects were arrested following Bunten's initial investigation. Upon finding the possible methamphetamine, he handcuffed the female, Brittney Thompson of Greencastle, and instructed Capt. Mike Hanlon to do the same with the man who had been standing next to the car.
At this point, the man, William T. Fox of Greencastle, fled the scene as well. Fox was later taken into custody and taken to the Putnam County Jail, where he was initially charged with possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance and resisting law enforcement.
Thompson was also taken to the jail and charged with possession of methamphetamine, visiting a common nuisance and petition to revoke bond.
Thompson was out on bond following a Jan. 13 arrest in which she and two men fled police with her young daughter in the car. Police discovered a controlled substance, paraphernalia and syringes in the car in that case.
She was charged with unlawful possession of a syringe and maintaining a common nuisance. A change of plea hearing had been set for Thursday, May 2 in the original case.
The white, granular substance had not been identified as methamphetamine as of Monday evening, but Bunten said its physical properties are consistent with the drug.