New information on Sagamore Hills standoff, armed man identified - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Sagamore Hills Standoff Ends: School Board President hospitalized then taken to jail

Standoff underway in Sagamore Hills. (source: WOIO) Standoff underway in Sagamore Hills. (source: WOIO)
Steve Bittel, president of the Nordonia Hills School Board.  (Source: NordoniaHIllsSchools.org) Steve Bittel, president of the Nordonia Hills School Board. (Source: NordoniaHIllsSchools.org)
Members of Steve Bittel's church helped talk him into giving up. (Source: WOIO) Members of Steve Bittel's church helped talk him into giving up. (Source: WOIO)
SAGAMORE HILLS, OH (WOIO) -

The standoff involving Nordonia Hills School Board President Steve Bittel ended peacefully around 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Bittel exited his Ballantrae Road home and put the .44 caliber handgun on the ground. 

He was then placed under arrest and transported to Akron City Hospital for observation. He was later taken to the Summit County Jail on suicide watch.

Members of Bittel's church helped talk him into giving up.

The incident began Friday morning at 7:30 when ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Agents and Sagamore Hills Police Officers executed a search warrant at Bittel's home.

During the search, Bittel allegedly grabbed his own loaded handgun, and barricaded himself inside a second floor bathroom. He fired one shot out the window. 

Bittel lives at the home with his wife, but she was not injured and not held hostage.

During the standoff, schools in the area of Ballantrae Road were put on what police are calling a modified lock down. Sagamore Hills Police said no one was ever in any danger and the lock down was only for safety precautions.

The Nordonia Hills City School district put the following statement on their website:

We have become aware of more information regarding the standoff on Ballantrae Road. The incident involves school board president Steve Bittel. I will have a written statement after we have more information. All school administrators are aware of the situation and are working on dismissal procedures for students who live in the area of Ballantrae Road.
Again, our children are safe.

Bittel also taught a life skills course and PSR at St. Barnabas Catholic Church for the past several years. Father Wiatrowski with the church was put on standby to help police. 

Wiatrowski says the church is aware of the situation and asked parish members to keep Bittel and his family in their prayers. 

"He's always had a fine record with us. There's never been a complaint about his behavior or anything like that," said Wiatrowski. "I was so glad everything resolved peacefully."

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