Standoff in Cleveland’s North Broadway neighborhood ends peacefully

No arrests made
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 3:25 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A hours-long standoff on the city’s East Side ended peacefully Thursday night.

Earlier, Cleveland’s SWAT team surrounded a home in the North Broadway neighborhood for an armed man wearing body armor on his porch.

Cleveland police were called to Glazier Avenue around 2:30 p.m. when the armed man was spotted near a school.

When officers arrived, the man had gone back to his home and was standing on the porch near Nursery and Glazier Avenues.

A nearby charter school, Broadway Academy at Willow, was placed on lockdown as a precaution, not once, but twice according to school administrators who say they went into lockdown initially at about 1:00 pm, concerned about a possible active shooter in the neighborhood. They initially received an all-clear from police, followed by a second request for lockdown around 2:30 pm.

19 News cameras were rolling as a large group of parents waited for more than an hour for their children to be released from the school, after arriving to see flashing police lights and a SWAT team near the front of the school. Cleveland Police worked with teachers to safely escort the young students out of a back door and into the arms of their parents and grandparents.

One mother who asked us not to use her name was still in her work scrubs when she raced to the school to pick up her three children, “I was really scared. My sister called me and said she saw something on Facebook. She sent me a screenshot that said a man was outside of the school with an Ak-47 wearing body armor, and that was the first thing I heard of it.”

A spokesperson with the school said by 6:45 pm all students and staff were safely released from the campus.

But, school, after-school activities, and Curriculum Night have all been canceled on Friday to provide the community more time to tend to the social-emotional needs of students and staff.

With the children, safe police negotiators continued to try and resolve the situation with the homeowner that began when the Animal Protective League (APL) showed up at his home with a search warrant. The APL received a complaint that Richard Clark had abused or beaten one of his six Rottweilers.

By 7:00 pm, after Clark came out on his porch to talk to police, the standoff ended peacefully with no arrest and the homeowner still in possession of his dogs.

Richard Clark talked to 19 News exclusively following the standoff with police saying he was never a threat to the school or the children, “There was accusations I was walking around the school with an AK-47, that’s bull. Them babies over there, I got babies and grandbabies, so, I would never put kids in jeopardy.”

But, Clark doesn’t deny he did pull his gun, “I had my Baretta 40 caliber and when the APL came here threatening they was gone walk in my yard and take my dog, I grabbed my gun. If you gone threaten me about taking something I’m gone threaten you. I’m not about to stand for nothing.”

The Cleveland man who says he breeds the Rottweilers says he will keep his dogs, saying they’re his babies and his property, “They was gone have to come in here to kill me to get them or I was gone kill them.”

A family member of Clark’s told 19 News he was able to keep the dogs if he promises to show up to court, but, Clark says he’s not showing up anywhere and says no one can tell him what he can or can’t do with his property.

This is a developing story check back with 19 News for the latest details.