Autrey Mill Lockdown


by LavanyaChellam

Staff Reporter

The weekend of Jan. 25 was certainly queer from the other weeks, because along with the sudden surprise of some snow, there was also an unexpected lockdown at Autrey Mill Middle School.

An officer and her canine counterpart were just strolling around noon Monday when the officer spotted an old car cross Old Alabama road, apparently concealing a former escapee whom the police crew had been searching. Steven James Villavasso had just robbed a bank and hit the road before turning onto Autrey Mill school property. The officer was quick to spread the message, and the Johns Creek police crew was ready for action.

Villavasso sped around the parking lot, crashing the car in a ditch and then fleeing by foot toward the school entrance. But, officers were already posted and trapped the escapee as he tried to enter the building. It was all over within forty minutes, but the tension within the school was intensifying.

As Autrey Mill student Aditi Shanbhag recalls, “We were suddenly interrupted by the intercom, and we knew it was something serious.” Within minutes of the officer’s hunch, the school was informed and requested to ensure a lockdown. “For how long, we didn’t know. We actually didn’t know any details,” explains the eigth grader.

The parents were notified about an hour after the burglary, and the event was posted on Facebook by 4 p.m. “It really wasn’t a huge deal,” responds Shanbhag when asked how afraid she and her friends were. “It was really more of curiosity than extreme fear,” according to her friends.

Surprisingly, this is an addition to the recent burglaries and break-ins around the Johns Creek area. But rather than fear, a further deference seems to uplift Johns Creek inhabitants, a “special reverence to our police force.” On the whole though, it was “strangely eventful for a Monday,” Shanbhag concludes.


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