Suspects named in chase that forced emergency lockdown at Poland football stadium

Local News

POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Two men are in the Mahoning County Jail after a police chase Tuesday night.

Poland High School’s football stadium was briefly on lockdown Tuesday while police caught up with two armed subjects.

It happened just before 7 p.m. and lasted about half an hour.

The high-speed chase started in Struthers and was going toward Poland Schools, so those attending the evening’s soccer game at the stadium were put on lockdown so police could secure the area.

The car ended up crashing on the bridge off of Hummingbird Hill, near the stadium, after hitting another car driving in the opposite direction.

Two suspects, later identified as Deandre and Larry Smith, were arrested, both had been armed. Deandre Smith was identified as the driver.

Both men were arraigned Wednesday in Struthers Municipal Court. Bond was set at $125,000 for Deandre Smith and $100,000 for Larry Smith.

Both men are facing multiple charges, including obstructing official business and inducing panic.

Deandre and Larry Smith, suspects in police chase, Poland/Strutherss
Deandre Smith, Larry Smith

“Our officers went to stop a vehicle for the operator not having a license. As so, as the officer went to stop him, the vehicle sped off,” said Struthers Police Chief Tim Roddy.

Roddy says they managed to catch the driver, Deandre at the scene, but Larry took off running and ran through the school district’s property.

“We knew there was a little bit of a problem because it was very close to our stadium and we had a very large crowd at our boys’ varsity soccer game,” said Poland Superintendent Craig Hockenberry.

Hockenberry was in a meeting at the former Dobbins Elementary School at the time. He was alerted about it when parents along with elementary school students popped in.

After speaking with Poland’s Police Chief Don Lambert, the school went into lock down.

“We were able to get on the PA, inform everybody there was a situation, kept everyone calm,” Hockenberry said.

Parents were asked to move to their cars and lock them, while the students were locked down in the locker room.

Roddy confirmed both suspects were armed, which word of that got relayed to Hockenberry.

“This was a very danger situation for us. Luckily, we practiced and people stayed calm and we’re able to give directions out and be able to communicate effectively,” Hockenberry said.

Everyone at the high school was safe. The lockdown was just a precautionary measure.

After 25 minutes, the school was told it was safe to lift the lockdown after catching Larry Smith.

“The driver of the suspect vehicle went by ambulance and the driver of the victim vehicle, so to speak, has gone to the hospital as well,” Roddy said.

The crash is under investigation.

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