Man with rifle prompts lockdown at Verne W. Critz Elementary School

Police were on the scene in East Patchogue this afternoon after a caller reported a man with a gun near an elementary school. Chopper 12

Investigators now say the man didn't pose a danger to the neighborhood.

Investigators now say the man didn't pose a danger to the neighborhood. (1/29/13)

EAST PATCHOGUE - A man spotted carrying a rifle near an East Patchogue elementary school prompted a lockdown today, but investigators now say the man didn't pose a danger to the neighborhood.

Police say they received calls about a man with a gun near Verne W. Critz Elementary School at around noon. School officials called parents to alert them to the situation as the building went into lockdown mode, and many frightful parents quickly turned up to take their children home.

A short time later, police arrested a man who lives in a house right next door to the school. Investigators say that he did have a rifle, but they describe it as an "inoperable old relic," and say he was in the street with it for reasons that have not yet been determined.

Police say the man, identified as 31-year-old Peter Perez, may have been showing the gun off to someone and simply didn't realize that his behavior was a cause for concern. Police say the man is facing charges because he was found with syringes, but he is not facing weapons charges at this time.

Parents tell News 12 Long Island that they're relieved that the scare turned out to be nothing serious, but some say incidents like this are becoming all too common.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Rev. John Barres, of Allentown, Penn., will succeed 1 Pope Francis appoints new bishop to Diocese of Rockville Centre
The accident happened just before 11:30 p.m. Thursday 2 2 injured in Mount Sinai head-on crash
A house on Joyce Drive in Hauppauge was 3 House destroyed in early morning Hauppauge fire
According to police, the swastikas were drawn on 4 Swastikas found scrawled inside Nassau Community College building
News 12's Elisa DiStefano and Newsday's Anne Bratskeir 5 Festive Friday: Subscription Boxes

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Need help this holiday season? We've got you Holiday Help Series

Need a gift idea? Perhaps you need a fun idea to do with the kids?

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE