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Hikers Prompt Schoolwide Lockdown In Peekskill

Two men hiking behind Woodside Elementary School caused a district-wide lockdown of schools on Monday.
Two men hiking behind Woodside Elementary School caused a district-wide lockdown of schools on Monday. Photo Credit: Google Maps/Street View

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Two men who were taking a hike in the woods behind Woodside Elementary School on Monday, ended up causing a districtwide lockdown of Peekskill schools, according to the Peekskill Police Department.

The lockout occurred around 2:15 p.m. when a staff member called the police to report that two men wearing ponchos had parked on school property, gotten out of their car with what they believed was a gun case and headed into the woods behind the school, said Lt. John White.

When police responded to the school on Depew Avenue, they found the car which had Pennsylvania license plates in the school's lot, and then searched the surrounding area for about 45 minutes before finding the men who were hiking, police said.

The bag they were carrying was a backpack with hiking gear and did not contain any weapons, he added. 

Both men, one who was a Peekskill resident, were charged with trespassing, police said. 

Peekskill Schools Superintendent David Fine issued a statement on the district's Facebook page thanking the police and staff: "Today's event was a prime example of the partnerships we have in place to keep our students safe," said Fine. "Thanks to clear communication from the Peekskill Police, we were able to secure our buildings, protect our children and notify our parents of the situation while it was still occurring, and again when it had ended. Thank you to our building leadership teams and everyone for their cooperation and help today."

He also thanked the Montauk Bus Company for their flexibility in transporting the children. 

"During these times it is paramount we all work together so as our safety and security are never compromised," Fine added.

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