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February 9, 2021 - 1:35pm

Staff at John Kennedy taking extra care that doors remain closed after intruder pulled fire alarm

posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, batavia, schools, news, notify.

The doors at John Kennedy School are getting extra checks on a daily basis to ensure they're closing completely after a door that was left ajar was used by an unauthorized individual to gain entry and pull a fire alarm.

The man's name has not yet been released by Batavia PD. He is apparently undergoing treatment and will be charged once he has been released from care.

Det. Eric Hill confirmed the incident took place and that charges are pending.  

The incident on Jan. 28 was discussed by the Batavia City School District Board of Education during its meeting Monday night, following a school review presentation by Principal Brian Sutton.

"The first door he pulled on, it was open," Sutton said. "He entered the building. He was in the building for about less than a minute, 55, 56 seconds. He stopped, looked at a bulletin board, and on his way, walking out of the loading docks, he pulled the fire alarm. We then had a fire drill where we accounted for all the students, all the individuals.

"Mr. Smith, our head custodian, and I went and checked out the alarm and could see it had been pulled. As soon as it was deemed safe, we had a headcount on everyone, we re-entered the building. Mr. Dehm, our security aide, pulled the camera up and we got an image of the individual and contacted our SRO Officer Davis, and they then apprehended the man down the street quite a bit, a few moments later."

Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr. told the board a man matching the description of the subject at John Kennedy had been seen earlier around Batavia Middle School and police were already in the area looking for him when the call came in from JK.

"He happened to pull on a door that happened to work for him," Soler said. "It was definitely an unfortunate situation. No one was obviously impacted. And we did communicate immediately with families that day of the event."

Sutton said as a result of the incident, the school's custodian is now checking on the doors more frequently each day to ensure the doors are closing after people pass through them.

'It's one of those things where it's a good reminder to make sure we check in multiple times," Soler said. "Now we have an alarm set on them. If they don't close all the way, they'll hear an alarm go off in the main office."

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