SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Parents were surprised to see a police presence Wednesday morning at Geyser Road Elementary in Saratoga Springs— a precautionary measure after a situation unfolded in a nearby neighborhood.
“The police department has recommended that because of the proximity to one of our schools, at that time in the morning, just our facility and staff was present— so we were able to re-route our buses to our transportation facility, which is a few miles away from the elementary school,” Superintendent Michael Patton said.
The superintendent said, as a safety precaution, the school went into lockdown for roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Police had to redirect parents who were trying to drop off their children.
As for that incident—- police were called to Hathorne Boulevard, after a man was disrupting members of the Department of Public Works who where paving the road. Once an officer arrived, he was pointed in the direction to where the man was heading.
“Our officer goes around to the side of the house towards the backyard and when he gets back there, he sees that man they had the issues with is standing in the backyard and he’s pointing a handgun at two other individuals that are in the backyard,” explained Saratoga Springs Lieutenant Bob Jillson.
Lieutenant Jillson said that’s when the officer started giving verbal commands, trying to get him to comply. The man then tucking the gun in his waistband and jumping a fence in the backyard into an adjacent subdivision on Tiffany Place. The man was found hiding in a front yard and was taken into custody without incident.
Members of the New York State Police and The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.
“He did not have the handgun on him,” stated Lieutenant Jillson. “Subsequent to that we did a ground search, all three agencies involved there, we did a search and were able to recover a hand gun. Looks to be a stolen handgun and it was fully loaded.”
Once police gave the okay, school returned as normal. According to the superintendent, the buses were back to school by 9:45 a.m.
“When you’re in a lockdown situation,” explained Patton. ” It’s difficult to make sure we have accurate information, so I think that by 9:20 the first school messenger notice was sent out by the school to parents to make sure they were aware.”
The school said safety for students and staff is a top priority, and safety drills are conducted throughout the school year.