BELLEVILLE — Police announced Friday that false information was provided to officers who responded to Union School about an armed person in the area on Tuesday.
A 15-year-old juvenile, who was found to have two pellet guns and a knife, surrendered to police. The juvenile was interviewed Tuesday and released to a parent.
The police investigation revealed the 15-year-old juvenile detained by police was not involved in any activity that placed any of the students or staff at Union School on South 27th Street in danger, according to Belleville police Capt. Don Sax.
The person who called in the incident stated the juvenile was pointing guns in the direction of the school. Sax said this statement was found to be false because the school and its grounds were not visible where the juvenile was.
Sax said the 15-year-old was not on school property but in a heavily wooded area on the opposite side of the railroad tracks from the school property.
The person who reported the incident said that he punched the juvenile, which never occurred, according to Sax.
Tuesday afternoon at Union School, Kristofer McDavid told the News-Democrat as well as parents gathered in the parking lot that he had an altercation with the juvenile that included punching him in the face and chasing him on foot.
According to police, there was no physical contact between the reporting person and the juvenile, and the reporting person never chased the juvenile.
"The department needs and values the public's assistance when criminal or suspicious behavior is observed. Do not hesitate to call and report your concerns. Factual reporting aids the police in the quick apprehension of suspects and their successful prosecution in a court of law," Police Chief William Clay said in a released statement. "False reporting of events or exaggerating the circumstances of an incident may endanger innocent persons. Such actions divert valuable limited police resources."
Belleville police continue to investigate the incident.
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.