Police: CHS Locked Down After Teacher Reported ‘Possible Threat’ from Man at Ritzer Field


The school was on modified lockdown after a teacher reported a verbal altercation with a male at Ritzer field. Moments earlier, the male was reported to have assaulted a patron at CVS. The school was never entered and no threats were made, police said.

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From Maplewood Detective Lieutenant Michael Palmerezzi:

On 3/3/2023 at approx. 0806 AM the Maplewood Police responded to the area of Columbia HS on a report of an unknown male that had a verbal altercation with a teacher at Ritzer field. The teacher advised CHS admin staff of a possible threat that lead the school to be placed into a modified lock down.

Moments earlier, the Maplewood Police received a call from CVS about an unruly male who assaulted a patron of the store.  The unknown male was described as follows: African American, 5’8 – 5’9 height, heavy set, wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt, black sweat pants with his glasses on his head.

Patrols made contact at the intersection of Jefferson Ave and Valley St with the unknown male. As patrols stopped the male to investigate the incident, they observed a purple toy water gun protruding from his pocket that was confiscated. Due to the male exhibiting signs of clear altered mental status, he was evaluated by South Essex Fire Department and transported to Newark Beth Israel.  He was ultimately evaluated and released from Newark Beth Israel Hospital to MPD custody and transported to Essex County correctional Facility due to an outstanding warrant out of Pennsylvania.  At no time was the school entered or threats made towards students.




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