Suspicious man prompts Waimea schools lockdown


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 about 8 a.m. after a 10-year-old boy reported that a man he did not know had approached him on the grounds of the elementary school, said Hawaii Police Department spokeswoman Chris Loos.

The students were all corraled into classrooms where they remained for about 30 to 40 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.

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 around 8:45 a.m.

A trespassing investigation has been initiated, she said. The man is described as being of Asian descent, in his 20s, short in height and heavy set with black, spiky hair. He was wearing black and red shorts.

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 likely take a letter home regarding the incident.

The elementary school declined immediatley to provide any further information.

Anyone with information on the incident or the man’s identity should call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.