Police placed Meridian Elementary under a shelter-in-place alert Tuesday as they detained a suspect who was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine and carrying a knife near the school grounds, according to Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea.

The suspect, 43-year-old David Criss of Meridian, had reportedly threatened a female driver earlier in the day on northbound Main Street at State Avenue in downtown Meridian.

Criss allegedly jumped out in front of her vehicle, waved a knife in a threatening manner and said she should have run him over, Basterrechea said. The driver called police around 12 p.m.

Shortly after the call came in, officers made contact with Criss, who was sitting on a curb at Northwest First and Washington streets, near Meridian Elementary but not on school property, Basterrechea said. Police arrested Criss and recovered a knife, according to Basterrechea. He did not have details about the knife.

Criss is being charged with aggravated assault, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, interrupting the education process and pedestrian under the influence, Basterrechea said. The assault and drug charges are felonies that have the potential to lead to prison time.

The shelter in place at Meridian Elementary lasted for a few minutes, Basterrechea said. The precaution means the school locks the exterior doors and is on high alert. Students and teachers are still free to move about the building, he said. During a lockdown, on the other hand, schools also lock interior doors.


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