CRESCENT, Okla. (KFOR) – Crescent Public Schools are on alert after being notified of an armed and dangerous Arkansas prison escapee’s connection to the city.
Samuel Hartman was in prison on a rape conviction and escaped from an Arkansas prison Friday.
Hartman has ties to Oklahoma, specifically Crescent Police announced Wednesday that Hartman has a connection to Crescent.
Police officials notified Crescent Public Schools about the potential risk and are providing the school with additional police presence as a precaution. They say there is no specific threat towards the school at this time
Wednesday brought worries to the town of Crescent. One resident tells KFOR, a lot of parents chose to keep their kids out of class Wednesday.
“It looks pretty dead today. A lot of people didn’t send their children to school today. And they’re wondering why they didn’t just have a virtual day,” said Adrianna Hayden, Crescent resident.
The Crescent Police Department released a statement Wednesday early afternoon confirming they had stepped up patrols after an email from school leaders was sent out Tuesday, warning parents an escapee from Arkansas had ties to the area and might come back.
“How slow it took for them to get any kind of news about it. I think that everybody’s just pretty frustrated about the whole the way that they have dealt with the whole thing,” said Hayden.
Adrianna Hayden, a nearby resident and mother of her own who lives close to the school said she’s upset with the lack of communication from police.
“They told me that they put out the information as soon as they found out. Little hard to believe. I think that they knew on Friday,” said Hayden.
Hayden said she heard about it from a friend on Tuesday.
“One of my friends posted it on her Facebook that she had gotten an email from the school… and they hadn’t posted anything other than what they had said to the parents. So, I had asked her to send me what it said, and it was pretty concerning,” said Hayden.
The email apparently went out to parents Tuesday. One part says, “All staff have been advised of the situation and will be extra cautious to monitor who is entering the school or who is near the buildings.”
Despite the district’s concern and stepped up security, when KFOR drove by, we saw students playing on the playground outside the Elementary School.
As for Hayden, she says she’s armed and ready.
“I loaded my firearms last night. And so, and that’s really all I can do other than call 911 if we see him… I have protection. I know how to protect myself and my children and my house, but it’s still scary, especially knowing that there’s somebody like that just on the loose and he could be anywhere,” said Hayden.
Crescent Police refused to go on camera with us and we also reached out to the school’s superintendent multiple times Wednesday for an interview.
For more information on what to look out for, click here.