An East Patchogue elementary school was locked down Tuesday as police investigated a 911 call reporting that a man was in the area with a gun, Suffolk County police said.
Around 11:36 a.m., police received several calls reporting that a man had a rifle near the Verne W. Crtiz Elementary School on Dunton Avenue in East Patchogue. The school was placed in lockdown status immediately, police said. An abundance of police officers, including the department’s elite Emergency Service Unit and a police helicopter responded to the call.
According to a police spokeswoman, when officers arrived on the scene they found a man in possession of a rifle on Dunton Avenue. As the officers investigated, it appeared that the man had no intention of using the weapon to harm anyone, she said. The man, whose name was not provided, was taken into custody after being arrested on an unrelated charge.
Police are now awaiting test results to confirm that the weapon was “not operational.”
Dunton Avenue, a main road in East Patchogue, was closed for closed by police as the investigation continued. The man was arrested just two houses from the school. Around 1 p.m., the lockdown was lifted at Verne Critz.
South Country School District officials did not immediately return a request for comment.