AKRON, Ohio - Eight people were arrested in a methamphetamine bust near an Akron school on Wednesday.
Police had already put a house on Chester Avenue under surveillance after being tipped off by neighbors. Akron police were actually called to the house twice for fights on Wednesday, and on the second call, officers were let into the house.
That's when they found material to make methamphetamine in almost every room of the house, police said.
"There was a full meth lab in the house, rather large," said Lt. Brian Simcox of the Akron Police Clandestine Lab Enforcement team. "With all the chemicals, all the bottles, they've obviously been doing this for a long, long time here."
Neighbors long suspected something was up at the home.
"Cars coming all hours of the day and night, fights out here in the yard in the middle of the night," said neighbor Fran Nalley. "Carrying stuff in and out of their that they were hiding."
The house is about 200 feet from Smith Elementary School, which is also on Chester Avenue. An 8-year-old boy who lives in the home attends the school.
"The principal came and got us and said 'We have a child who lives in that house in our office, do you want him?'" Simcox said. The child was placed in the care of children's services.
"Extremely frustrating. We work really hard because of the children. And to think children walk by this every single, solitary day is very frustrating," Simcox said.
The Akron Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team has broken up around 170 meth labs this year alone, which is around 100 more than previous years. Simcox said the credit for that belongs to people like those in the area of Wednesday's raid who alerted police.
Two of the people arrested on Wednesday include the owner of the home and the boy's mother. They all face first-degree felony counts of manufacturing methamphetamine and second-degree felony counts for possessing the materials needed to make meth.