Police took a 10-year-old boy into custody Wednesday after he allegedly fired pepper spray through the hallway of a Uniondale elementary school and caused 24 people to be hospitalized, according to a Nassau County police news release.
The “unusual incident” occurred Oct. 23 at 11:10 a.m. at the Northern Parkway School at 440 Northern Parkway in Uniondale, police said. The school was closed for nearly two hours as police, firefighters and Hazmat crews worked at the scene.
Officials did not say how the fifth grade student became in possession of the pepper spray. The substance caused two dozen people to suffer eye and throat irritations, the news release said.
In a statement, Uniondale School District Superintendent William Lloyd said they were all taken to a local hospital for “precautionary evaluation.”
Authorities said ambulances from the Uniondale, West Hempstead, Roosevelt and East Meadow fire departments were all called to the scene. The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office also responded.
Lloyd said Hazmat crews inspected the building and “deemed the air quality safe.”
Police said one student was taken into custody at the scene and charged with unlawfully possessing noxious material. He was released to a family member on Wednesday and will appear before a family court judge on Nov. 4.