Holmdel school evacuated after report of possible intruder
A Holmdel elementary school was evacuated following what appears to be a a false report of an armed intruder on the school's roof.
A call was received at the Village Elementary School just before 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning prompting a lockdown to be put in place and a response from law enforcement from across the county according to a statement from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
The Monmouth County Emergency Response Team (MOCERT)'s room-by-room check of the school on McCampbell Road turned up no intruder, according to acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, for what appears to be a hoax.
“We will always view a threat of violence against our young students as a serious threat. A dozen law enforcement agencies responded in full force today to ensure that safety but it turned out to be nothing more than a hoax – a very costly hoax – and thankfully no one was hurt,” Gramiccioni said in a statement.
Holmdel Mayor Hinds tells NJ.com that students were loaded onto buses which later returned them to the school. Hinds says other schools in the Holmdel school district were not place on lockdown but security was stepped up.
Village School principal Brian Schillaci wrote in a Facebook post later on Tuesday that all students are "safe and sound in the building" and stressed the importance of letting students return to their ""normal, settled, safe environment" with all afternoon activities going on as scheduled. He praised students and staff for the "spectacular" job they did in implementing what they have gone over in practice drills. All students were dismissed at the regular time, 3:35 p.m. according to Gramiccioni.
Prosecutor's spokesman Charles Webster says that it's "possible" this could be another case of swatting, the practice of making a phony report for the "thrill" of watching the response. A Connecticut man was charged with swatting Allentown High School in Upper Freehold and St. John Vianney in Holmdel in January, 2014.
- Report of intruder leads to lockdown at Village Elementary School in Monmouth / 7 ABC
- Holmdel school placed in lockdown / NJ.com