The McCreary County courthouse was on lockdown for several hours this afternoon after officials say a man threatened to kill a social worker. Officials tell us the incident started when Rodney Staley became unhappy with the results of a custody case. He was able to get away from the courthouse and at this hour, police are still searching for him. Officials locked down the courthouse, keeping several people inside until about 1:30. Phoebe Wilson was inside for an unrelated case.
"We were sitting there and they said that we were under lockdown and one of our social workers, her life was threatened. Everybody started whispering and wondering 'What in the world?' We had to just sit...just had to keep on sitting there. We weren't allowed to leave," she says.
The incident started just before noon. The people inside the courthouse were allowed to leave around 1:30. While the lockdown situation played out at the courthouse, schools throughout McCreary County were put on alert.
"We were notified about 12:00 by the courthouse that we could have some students in danger," says Superintendent Arthur Wright. He says Staley has children at four of the district's six schools.
"We took action here at the school system to put our schools on alert. Alert is where we have all of our schools locked at the exit doors and we have a staff member at each exit door making sure that this potentially dangerous parent didn't try to enter our schools," says Wright.
Kentucky State Police say they found and arrested Staley just after 6 p.m. Wednesday near Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset.
Staley was transported to the McCreary County Detention Center.