La Center schools put on brief lockdown

Police seek man walking on high school campus

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



An unidentified man was found inside La Center High School, prompting administration to put all three of the city’s schools on lockdown for about 15 minutes Tuesday morning.

A staff member approached the man and asked if he needed any help and he told the staffer that he was looking for a pool or weight room, La Center Superintendent Mark Mansell said. He was described as a white man, about 40 years old.

When asked to leave, the man left without incident. However, administration put the high, middle and elementary school campuses on lockdown about 8:30 a.m. and asked La Center police to respond.

“Our kids were never in danger,” Mansell said. “We’d rather be safe than sorry … The bottom line is that we put our kids into a safe place.”

La Center police searched for the man but were not able to find him.

“We don’t have anything to detain the individual for, we’re just concerned about his behavior,” La Center Police Chief Marc Denney said. “Other than that, no grounds for citation or arrest.”

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