Hoax bomb device forces Middletown HS to close, middle school to lock down

A fake bomb device found in a restroom at Middletown High School on Wednesday forced the emergency evacuation of students as classes temporarily closed while police investigated.

And the adjacent Middletown Middle School, which shares the high school campus, was locked down.

No one was injured and the investigation into the bomb hoax continues.

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Mike Grimes, commander of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office bomb unit, described what was found in the boys bathroom as “a hoax device” that was made to look like a bomb.

He said the device was X-rayed and inspected remotely, and once no explosives were located, it was turned over to the Middletown Police Division.

The phony bomb was discovered at approximately 10:45 a.m. and the high school began student evacuations shortly after sending students to the campus track stadium to await bus transport home or to be picked up by their parents.

But about one hour later investigators gave an all clear. The high school was reopened for classes for the students still on campus and the adjacent middle school ended its lockdown.

Law enforcement who rushed to the school in response to the perceived threat also included the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Franklin Police Division.

The high school enrolls 1,741 students and 933 students attend Middletown Middle School.

None of Middletown’s eight other public schools were affected by the incident, said Elizabeth Beadle, spokeswoman for the 6,300-student district.

Beadle said: “We take things seriously. At the high school we have an amazing team that made an amazing response.”

The threat comes less than a week after hoax active shooter threats closed eight schools in Ohio, including Princeton High School in northern Hamilton County.

Staff Writer Lauren Pack contributed to this story.