ASTORIA — Parents attending an orientation session at an Astoria elementary school were evacuated Wednesday morning and the school was locked down while police launched a manhunt complete with an NYPD helicopter, parents and cops said.
Police had sections of the street surrounding PS 85, near the corner of 31st Street and 24th Avenue, blocked off at about 10:30 a.m. as a helicopter scoured the area, though it was unclear exactly when the ordeal began.
Officers were looking for an older man who had been spotted on a nearby rooftop, the NYPD said. He was not considered a suspect in any crime, according to police, but cops at the scene told concerned parents the man was acting strangely and bolted when police attempted to question him.
Many mothers and fathers had been inside the school at an orientation session and were told to leave while the children were put on lockdown, according to one father who only wanted to be identified as Mark.
Mark said his daughter had just started attending kindergarten at the school a few days ago.
“All the indications we got were that he never got into the school,” he said. “But it was pretty scary.”
As of 11:30 a.m., Mark said the manhunt seemed to have ended.
©2013 Community News Group
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