Images from the scene following Madison County chase, campus lockdowns
Madison County (WSYR-TV) – A suspect is in custody on Friday after leading police on a cross-county chase that prompted two Madison County colleges to lock down their campuses.
Deputies say the incident began shortly after they served an order of protection against the suspect, 26-year-old Derik Churchill, Oneida. Initial information given to investigators said Churchill was armed and dangerous.
Cazenovia College and Morrisville State were locked down during the incident.
The chase began in Munnsville and ended when Churchill was taken into custody on the Cazenovia College campus. Both campuses have had their lockdown status lifted.
Police chased Churchill’s vehicle from Munnsville, through Madison County, into Onondaga County, and back into Madison County.
They deployed stop sticks in multiple locations before the chase finally came to an end on the Cazenovia College campus.
Sheriff’s Deputies initially believed Churchill was armed with firearms. According to deputies, Churchill texted them indicating that he “had them in his scope.” Deputies say the text, along with a victim’s statement, led them to believe he was heavily armed.
When they finally caught him, they couldn’t find any firearms, but he was in possession of knives.
A freshman at Cazenovia College, Bobbi Jo Hannan, said the experience of the campus lockdown was alarming.
"The RA's were constantly walking the floor, pacing the floor, making sure everyone was okay. There were a lot of tears last night...because everybody was scared and didn't know what was going on," she said. "We never had a test text, this was the real thing...this was a scare...we got the real thing this time..as sad as it is to say, it needed to happen like this cause we know we'll be safe..campus security is taking care of us."
Hannan also witnessed the police taking Churchill into custody.
"He was screaming don't touch me, don't touch me," Hannan said.
Churchill was arraigned in Town of Stockbridge Court on charges of Criminal Contempt and Aggravated Harassment, several other charges are pending.
Churchill was sent to Madison County Jail on $1,000 cash bail/$5,000 bond.