Wakeman police were called to assist and assure the students' safety.
The Western Reserve Preschool took its morning and afternoon classes out for an all-day field trip to East of Chicago as part of the curriculum's requirement to get the students involved in the community and exposed to area businesses. The students had a fun day planned as they learned about the pizza business, how things worked and then were able to make their very own delicious masterpiece, Western Reserve Local Schools Superintendent Rodge Wilson said.
The afternoon hit a scary moment when Wakeman Elevator owner Darlene Witter-Krieger, 67, of 4525 Ohio 60, Wakeman, allegedly barged into the store and assaulted Lisa Barrier, a preschool educational aide who has been with Western Reserve for “well more than 10 years,” Wilson said.
“We got a call from a woman at East of Chicago who stated she was assaulted by a female business owner in town (Krieger),” police Chief Tim Hunker said in a separate interview. “We responded and (Krieger) was taken in on a misdemeanor in the first degree (charge) of assault. There have been no formal charges filed as of yet.”
Hunker said Barrier was “struck in the face,” but there were no other injuries reported.
“It allegedly happened at the back of the restaurant, away from the kids. (Krieger) came into the restaurant while the field trip was going on,” he said. “There were some rumors about some extra-marital affair, but that's all rumor. That's not anything that I know.”
Krieger posted her bond about 5 p.m. Thursday and was released from the Huron County Jail.
Wilson said he was “very happy” with how his staff handled the situation.
“What I have heard is that during the preschool field trip, my employee saw a potential issue and separated herself from the children, in which time she was assaulted,” he said.
“With some assistance, things were taken care of. This was a non-school related issue between a community member and a staff member that was not related to the preschool. It was personal in nature. The important thing was that the children were protected as much as possible, thanks to (Barrier) stepping away when she saw that an issue may arise.
“I am very pleased both Wakeman police and my staff members who protected the kids That's great the adults acted well.”
Wilson said Barrier, the aide, was checked at the scene and his administration was assessing her as well for the extent of the injury, but it was believed she was OK.
“I'm also very happy the field trip went on as planned,” he said. “It continued and the kids' day wasn't ruined by this. They got to enjoy the all-day combined field trip.”