Suspicious man forces lockdown of Russell Elementary in Warner Robins

Staff reportsAugust 16, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Police are searching for a man, believed to be in his late 20s, who walked inside Russell Elementary School without authorization early Friday, shutting down the school for more than two hours.

Officers rushed to 101 Patriot Way shortly after 7:30 a.m., said Tabitha Pugh, spokeswoman for Warner Robins police. The man, who was described as “suspicious” and fled before police arrived, did not approach any children on campus, she said. No one was hurt.

He is described as a black man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, and was wearing black pants and a green jacket, according to a Twitter post from the police department.

Police had not located or identified him Friday evening.

“We’re still investigating what he did,” Pugh said.

The Code Red alert locked down the school, preventing anyone from getting in or out. Students arriving on buses were redirected to Warner Robins Middle School, and police blocked Russell Elementary’s entrance to prevent parents arriving in cars to get onto the property, said Beth McLaughlin, community relations director for the Houston County Board of Education.

But by late morning, students were back at Russell, and everyone seemed to be “doing well,” Houston County school Superintendent Robin Hines said.

Valerie Brooks of the Great Start Learning Center, which sits diagonally across the street from the school, said no one alerted her about the suspicious man. Brooks locked down her daycare as a precaution.

After the man left the Russell Elementary campus, officers fanned out in a nearby neighborhood to try to find him. One woman who lives about a mile away said she received an alert from the school system advising her to stay indoors during the search.

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to call Warner Robins police detective Brett Rozier at 302-5389. Information also may be given anonymously through TipSubmit by texting the tip to CRIMES (274637) and include the keyword WRPD in the text. Tips also may be called in to Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at 742-2330 or 877-68-CRIME.

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