Sunday | October 22, 2017
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No threat found at Waimea schools

A suspicious man on the grounds of Waimea Elementary and Middle schools on Friday morning prompted a campus lockdown that lasted approximately 40 minutes.

The lockdown went into effect at the schools shortly before 8 a.m. after a boy reported that an unknown man had been chasing a 10-year-old boy on the grounds of the elementary school, said Hawaii Police Department spokeswoman Chris Loos. Police learned the man chasing the boy was actually the a relative of the youngster.

During the lockdown students were corralled into classrooms where they remained for about 35 minutes while teachers and staff accounted for all the students and contacted emergency officials, said Patti Cook, Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School’s community relations liaison. No injuries were reported and all students were accounted for, she added.

The elementary school has an enrollment of about 600 while the middle school has a student population of about 290, Cook said. School had yet to start for the day.

HPD officers and Special Response Team members in the vicinity responded and secured the campus, Loos said. Officers found no sign of the man and the lockdown was lifted before 8:45 a.m.

Police initially treated the case as a trespassing investigation. They later learned of the man was related to the boy.

The middle school made notification calls to students’ parents; one notifying them of the lockdown and the other of the all-clear being given, Cook said. Students will also take a letter home regarding the incident.

The elementary school referred comment to West Hawaii Complex Area Superintendent Art Souza who said the school’s automatic notification system did send out notifications and students were to be sent home with letters. He also said parents who called the school were made aware of the incident.