AP NEWS

Suspicious person causes alarm at Tyler Elementary in DeKalb

May 7, 2019

DeKALB – Police removed a man who wandered onto the grounds at Tyler Elementary School on Tuesday after his appearance led to a soft lockdown at the school, officials said.

District Superintendent Jamie Craven said the man was behaving strangely when an administrator tried to talk to him around noon.

“We had to call the police because there was an adult male who was on school property and was not responding to Principal Lissette Jacobson when she was trying to ask him questions,” Craven said.

During a soft lockdown, classes and activities remain in session, but no students are allowed to leave the building or be outside, and only district employees are allowed to enter the building, Craven said.

“It’s basically a message to let teachers know we have a concern we’re dealing with, and we’re restricting building access,” Craven said.

Craven said the man didn’t answer Jacobson when she asked him to leave.

“He had to become a suspicious person,” Craven said, “And we took precautionary measures for a short time until the police arrived.”

Craven said DeKalb police talked with the man and determined he was not a threat.

“In this day and age, anything that becomes suspicious, we have to act on,” Craven said.

Craven said DeKalb police told him that upon questioning the man, they learned he was not familiar with the area and was trying to find the walking path, and his GPS was directing him to go through the school grounds.

“There’s a path and connection point to Tyler that goes across the bridge and connects with the walking path,” Craven said. “I think he was trying to find his way over there and got turned around, but instead of saying to Ms Jacobson, ‘I’m trying to get to the path,’ he either ignored her or didn’t hear her.”

Craven said the school was back in regular session as of 1 p.m.