Men accused in disturbance during lockdown plead not guilty

AUSTINTOWN — Two men pleaded not guilty in Mahoning County Court in Austintown to charges of causing a disturbance at Austintown Intermediate School during a lockdown.

Frank Catello, 36, of Austintown, pleaded not guilty Monday to misconduct at an emergency. Mark Butcher, 20, of Youngstown, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of menacing, resisting arrest and criminal trespass, according to court records. Butcher was arraigned Monday on a charge of inducing panic and no plea was entered. Both men are due back in court in March.

Austintown Intermediate School was placed on a “soft lockdown” Friday, which allows staff to continue teaching but prohibits students in hallways, after threatening notes were found in two classrooms, according to a police report. A call was placed to parents explaining the reason for the lockdown and phones began ringing off the hook as parents started showing up in droves, the report states.

Catello is accused of showing up in the lobby during the lockdown, stomping his feet, demanding to know what was occurring inside and screaming to have his daughter, the report states. When told by police to remain calm, Catello got louder and accused police of not caring about his daughter’s safety “just like the officer in Florida,” the report states.

Butcher is accused of showing up in the lobby, banging on the door and saying he was there to get his brother out of school, the report states. A police officer told Butcher they would be with him shortly and as they were escorting Catello out of the building, Butcher tried to push past them, the report states.

The officer told Butcher there were several other parents there before him and he would have to wait and Butcher threatened the officer with physical harm, the report states. When told to leave, Butcher tried to push past the officer again while making threats and using profanities, the report states.

Austintown Local Schools isn’t the only district to deal with threats and panic after the deadly shootings in Florida. Keagan Landfried, 15, a student at Niles McKinley High School, was arrested Friday and charged with inducing panic after making verbal threats and statements on social media about how he would conduct a school shooting, according to a police report.

Alex Whitmore, a student at Niles Middle School, was charged with inducing panic after being accused of making verbal threats to “shoot up the school” last week, according to a police report. Philip Vaughn, 14, a student at Niles McKinley High School was charged with making false alarms after being overheard in the school hallway making a similar threat, a report states.