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Last updated on Monday, January 28, 2013
(BLOOMFIELD) - Superintendent Dan Sichting announced late Friday that Bloomfield School District will remain on lockdown all this week, with an increased police presence, following an incident on Thursday that sent the school into lockdown.
According to a press release, the lockdown will continue after concerns an individual attempting to gain entrance into Bloomfield School District facilities on Thursday.
Sabrina Westball of the Greene County Daily World reports that there will be a continued police presence and extra patrols at the school and park.
Sichting added there was no specific credible threat.
Early Friday a juvenile was arrested and the school was placed on lock down, due to suspicious activity around the school Thursday afternoon.
Sichting says at approximately 1 p.m. Thursday, Junior/Senior High School Principal David Dean located an individual trying to gain access to the school. But the person never entered the building.
The male juvenile whose name is not being released due to his age, claimed to be an 18-year-old looking to enroll in the school. He also claimed to be working with local law enforcement.
The individual walked away from the school after being unable to gain entry, paused outside the window of a math class on West Spring Street and peered in the window for an extended period of time. At this point, the teacher informed administration of the suspicious person outside the classroom.
After walking from the window of the math class, the suspect walked to the corner of Spring and Cleveland Streets. The suspect then made his way around the school, onto John Street, just east of the school.
The suspect was carrying handcuffs and was looking for a 14-year-old female student saying he was working undercover with police.
"A teacher on his way to an appointment, who lives on John Street, was coming out of his house and struck up a conversation with the individual. He (the suspect) said he was looking for a 14 or 15-year-old student, and used her first name. He also used information about her that not just anyone would know, like where her father was employed," Sichting explained.
The interaction with the teacher took place at approximately 2:15 p.m., and the teacher contacted Dean around 3:10 p.m. to report the conversation.
Dean immediately contacted the Greene County Sheriff's Department.
Once the student who the suspect was allegedly searching for was identified, Dean contacted the student's parent. The mother called back around 6:30 p.m.
"The same (suspect) individual - at the end of school - went to the park and made contact with the female student. The contact was brief, and her parent was there to pick her up," Sichting added.
Bloomfield Town Marshal Kenneth Tharp said officers continued to receive tips regarding the individual, and he was detained by officers around 11 p.m. Thursday.
"The officers were following leads as we got them. We eventually located him (the suspect) at an apartment here in town. He was detained, interviewed at the (Greene County) Jail and released to his mother," Tharp said.
He added there was no threat to the school or student identified by the suspect.
"It just made people uneasy," Tharp said.
Sichting stressed the school's safety procedures and the staff's attention to detail helped to prevent a tragedy.
"The individual never had access to our building. He was on the exterior ... In the environment we live in today, vigilance is a key component to safety, and I have made sure to highlight this to the staff. They have to have attention to detail because the details may be able to help avoid a tragedy," Sichting stressed.
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