A Torresdale man caused the lockdown of Community College of Philadelphia and two nearby high schools after he allegedly brandished a handgun inside a CCP classroom during an argument with another student, police claim.
Officers from the 8th Police District arrested Ryan M. Fitch, 23, on Wednesday afternoon at his home on the 9500 block of State Road. Just before noon that day, Fitch became involved in an argument with another man inside a CCP classroom at 1700 Spring Garden St., police said. That’s when he allegedly flashed a gun in “a threatening manner” toward the other man.
The argument involved a woman, who also was in the classroom at the time, according to a police source. Fitch, who left the school before police arrived, reportedly had a license to carry a gun, but guns are prohibited on the CCP campus.
He was not carrying the gun when officers caught up with him, the police source said. Officers later recovered the weapon, though.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, members of the police department’s SWAT Unit evacuated hundreds of students and staff from the college building, although it was never considered an “active shooter” situation. No injuries were reported. The Philadelphia School District’s Ben Franklin and Julia R. Masterman high schools reportedly were placed on temporary lockdown as authorities sorted out the scare.
Fitch was arraigned Thursday on charges of bringing a weapon to school, terroristic threats, simple assault and reckless endangerment. He posted 10 percent of $250,000 bail that day and was released pending a June 13 preliminary hearing. ••