Man climbs southwest Ohio substation, power cut to thousands, negotiators talk him down

Clark County sheriff's deputies block the road and an Ohio Edison truck is shown as traffic backs up in Moorefield Township on Monday. A man climbed a power substation, and electricity was our for nearly 2,500 customers in the Northridge area before the man could be talked into coming down. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF
Caption
Clark County sheriff's deputies block the road and an Ohio Edison truck is shown as traffic backs up in Moorefield Township on Monday. A man climbed a power substation, and electricity was our for nearly 2,500 customers in the Northridge area before the man could be talked into coming down. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Northeastern schools among those affected by power outage.

A man who had climbed up an Ohio Edison substation Monday in Clark County came down after almost four hours.

Electricity was shut off to the substation, leaving more than 2,400 customers in the area without power, including nearby schools.

Deputies responded at 11:57 a.m. to the substation in Moorefield Twp. after reports of a man climbing the fence and entering the substation, said Clark County Sheriff’s Lt. Dustin White. The man was on top of the substation when deputies arrived.

A man climbed up an Ohio Edison substation in Northridge in Clark County today, and electricity was out for more than 2,400 customers in the area, including nearby schools. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF
Caption
A man climbed up an Ohio Edison substation in Northridge in Clark County today, and electricity was out for more than 2,400 customers in the area, including nearby schools. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

The substation is along Moorefield Road near Taywell Drive.

Ohio Edison turned the power off within five minutes, White said, but the power had been on when the man entered the substation. the lieutenant said it was “by the grace of God that he’s still here.”

White said the sheriff’s office called in two negotiators from the Springfield Police Division who were able to develop a rapport with the man and eventually convince him to climb down.

The man was threatening to jump from the substation, and had a knife, which he threw down after speaking with negotiators, White said.

About 3:40 p.m., the man climbed down safely, and a crowd of onlookers cheered. He had superficial wounds where he may have tried to hurt himself, White said, and he was tired and thirsty from holding himself up on top of the substation.

He was placed in the back of a Clark County Sheriff’s cruiser and White said he was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

The sheriff’s office would be consulting with the prosecutor’s office on any potential charges, the lieutenant said.

Traffic in the area was disrupted by the emergency response and because of the power outage.

Northeastern School District, located in the township, reported on its website that its schools — Kenton Ridge, Northridge and Rolling Hills — were without power and phone service.

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“All students are safe, and the buildings are operating normally,” the website announcement said.

Northeastern School District spokeswoman Steffanie Stratton said that the district will communicate with families via the district’s all-call system as a result of the phone service outage. Students will be released from the buildings affected by the power outage at their regular times.

White said the man was in extreme danger when he entered the substation.

“If he had touched the wrong two things at same time, it would have been the path of least resistance and he would have been electrocuted,” he said.

The lieutenant was complimentary of the negotiators, saying they did an “absolute quality job” and that he didn’t know how they would have had the situation solved without them.

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A man climbed atop an Ohio Edison power substation in Moorefield Twp., Clark County on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. After nearly four hours, negotiators talked him down safely. Electricity to nearly 2,500 customers had been cut off during the standoff. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF
Caption
A man climbed atop an Ohio Edison power substation in Moorefield Twp., Clark County on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. After nearly four hours, negotiators talked him down safely. Electricity to nearly 2,500 customers had been cut off during the standoff. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby