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Man detained after breaking into RHS Fieldhouse

A 39-year-old man was taken into custody by Russellville police Monday after he admitted breaking into the Russellville High School athletic field house.

The Russellville resident, whose name was not released by authorities because he was not arrested, was transported to a mental health facility by the Franklin County Mental Health Officer.

According to RPD Chief Chris Hargett, the man came to Russellville Stadium several times recently, including Sunday afternoon, and returned early Monday morning. He broke a front window in the fieldhouse, went upstairs and broke the glass frame that held Mullins' jersey and took the jersey and placed it on the memorial erected in Mullins' memory.

Mullins was a star athlete at RHS and went on to play football at the University of Mississippi. His career tragically ended when an on-field injury left him paralyzed. Mullins died May 6, 1991.

Hargett said the man returned to the stadium later Monday morning and laid down on the middle of the football field. School authorities contacted police and the man was taken into custody without incident after admitting to the break-in. The man said he used a pipe to smash the windows and the glass frame.

While the man did not have a weapon when he was taken into custody, Hargett said he was repeatedly asking for RHS football coach Mark Heaton. The man's reasons for wanting Heaton remain unknown.

After speaking with him, it was obvious there was a situation with a mental condition, so we contacted the mental health officer and the man was committed for evaluation,” Hargett said.

We don't know what he planned on doing. But we spoke with (RHS Superintendent) Heath Grimes about whether the school would be placed on lockdown Monday,” Hargett added. “When we took him into custody without issue, there was no need to lock down the school.”

Hargett said school officials had repaired the window and a door that was damaged and the fieldhouse was secure.

Heaton said he did not have any contact with the man.

I don't really know what he was saying. We let the police handle it,” Heaton said.



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