Man refusing to leave caused Suffolk school lockdown


SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Suffolk elementary school was put on lockdown Monday afternoon, after a man entered the building and refused to leave.

According to Suffolk city spokeswoman Diana Klink, officers responded to Mack Benn, Jr. Elementary School on Nansemond Parkway after a 1:36 p.m. 911 call. The caller said an African-American man wearing a blue hat and blue jacket went inside the school restroom and wouldn’t leave.

Bethanne Bradshaw with Suffolk Public Schools released the following statement, detailing what happened:

The man was greeted by the receptionist just inside the main door, he said he had business in the office, which is located right beside desk, but through another glass door. When he got into the office, he said he needed to sit down. The secretary and the principal spoke with him, realized he had no connection to any student or staff person, but he refused to leave when asked.

School officials put the school on lockdown. Eventually, the principal was able to convince the man to leave. No one was injured. The whole thing lasted about 15 minutes, Bradshaw said.

Police officers found the man on Portsmouth Boulevard and learned he had a  “diminished mental capacity,” according to Klink. The 36-year-old man was escorted to his home by officers.

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