Police arrested a 23-year-old man Tuesday after he attempted to pose as a new student at an Alabama high school and ran when the school's principal tried to sort out his identity, according to multiple reports.
David Samuel Blackwell faces charges of third-degree burglary and interfering with government operations, Heflin police Chief A.J. Benefield told WRBL.
"From what we understand, this all started as a practical joke," Benefield told the news station. "But when (he was) stopped, (Blackwell) took off running, and that caused chaos and confusion, so we were called in to assess the threat."
Blackwell was with an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old when he walked into Cleburne County High School shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday, AL.com reported.
The school's principal approached Blackwell to ask who he was. Blackwell said he was a "new student," and ran when the principal attempted to bring him into the principal's office, according to WBRL.
"We initially didn't know why he was there, and we didn't know if he had a weapon, so … (we) put the school on lockdown and evacuated about 1,300 people from inside to be safe," Benefield told WRBL.
Blackwell was caught on school property by a coach, AL.com reported.
Parents took to social media to complain about the handling of the case, which did not include an immediate call to parents. Benefield condemned the attacks and praised the response of Cleburne County High School staff in a post on the Heflin Police Department's Facebook page.
"There's not time to make a bunch of phone calls when you have to take swift immediate action and make split second decisions," he wrote. "Information about what's going on will be released at the first chance, but only after student(s) and (faculty) member(s), are safe and the entire Cleburne County Schools campuses are secure."
I've read a lot of negative post on Facebook about how some parents disagree with how the Cleburne County High School...Posted by City of Heflin Police Department on Tuesday, March 14, 2017