ROCKY RIVER (WJW) — Friday night’s playoff game kicked off amid heavy police presence and without any fans for the Mansfield Sr. High School game against Rocky River High School.
Fans and a marching band did not attend the game after it was moved to Rocky River High School due to threats of violence.
The increased police presence and no fans allowed at the game were in response to several threats to ‘shoot up’ the game that was originally to take place at Mansfield Sr. High School, according to police and school officials. The game was then moved to Rocky River High School where schools chose to not allow fans inside the stadium for safety concerns.
Rocky River’s Marching Band chose not to attend due to those safety concerns but cheerleaders did attend, school officials said.
Rocky River High School officials said no threats were made about the game at Rocky River High School.
The game was played with no police incidents reported, Mansfield advances in the playoffs after winning the game.
All tickets that were pre-purchased will automatically be refunded through HomeTown Ticketing and the OHSAA, school officials said.
Police said that a Mansfield Sr. High School student was arrested after allegedly making a threat to “shoot up” Friday night’s high school football game against Rocky River High School, which led to the game being moved due to safety concerns.
Extra police from Mansfield were are also at the game to assist the Rocky River Police Department in safeguarding the game.
Mansfield Sr. High School officials asked for the game to be moved from Mansfield to Rocky River’s stadium, according to Rocky River Schools Superintendent Michael Shoaf.
“The Mansfield Police Department was notified of two possible threats made to “shoot up” Mansfield Sr. High School at Mansfield’s Arlin Field,” according to Mansfield police.
Police said they also learned of threats in regards to a vigil held in Mansfield Thursday night.
The Mansfield student who made the alleged threat was taken into custody, police said.
“The student admitted to making the threats, however, he stated it (threat) was in retaliation for a comment made about him by another student. He further stated he had no intentions of committing the act. Charges are currently being sought,” police said.
Mansfield officers said they learned about another threat to “shoot up” the football game at Arlin Field but the threats could not be validated, police said.
“It should also be mentioned that it was the student’s diligence and willingness to
assist in bringing these threats to light and because of that officers were able to
respond as quickly as they did,” police said.
Mansfield schools closed Friday, police said.
Just five days ago, a shootout at a party in Mansfield left two teens dead and four others injured. Police said that the shooting is still being investigated. Police said Friday that while there were high school students at that party, that shooting was not connected to the recent threats.