By Scott Halasz
WILBERFORCE — A Cedarville Township man is in the Greene County Jail after a standoff with sheriff and SWAT personnel Monday night.
Michael D. Haas, 32, is being held on a first-degree felony charge of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle and first-degree misdemeanor charges of aggravated menacing, using weapons while intoxicated and inducing panic, after he allegedly fired multiple rounds with a rifle and threatened suicide.
Nearby Central State and Wilberforce universities were placed on lock-down as a result of the incident.
The first call came in shortly after 8:30 p.m. regarding a man threatening suicide in the 2400 block of Murdock Road, according to Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer. When officers arrived they heard shots being fired and SWAT was immediately called, Fischer said.
“You take a defensive position at that point in time,” he said. “I was told the estimate was between 50-80 rounds were fired at the scene of his house.”
Haas was able to leave his home without officials knowing, Fischer said, and went to Cedarville, obtained a vehicle and drove to Wilberforce, where he was encountered by security and officers and taken into custody without incident shortly after 1 a.m. He had a rifle in his possession, Fischer said.
He added that authorities had several conversations on a cell phone in an attempt to negotiate and Haas never indicated “anything about being on the move.”
“He had made his escape from the house while we were still in the process of getting people there and deployed,” Fischer said.
Haas is known to many county officials as he formerly worked in the maintenance department, according to Fischer.
“That’s kind of shocking that he would be going through this,” he said.
Bail is currently set at $17,500 according to jail records and more charges could be forthcoming, Fischer said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.