YORK, Maine – An off-campus incident near York High School that was reported on Thursday morning at York Police Department prompted YHS to enter a precautionary lockdown.
The lockdown was lifted by noon, according to YHS director Karl Francis, who confirmed that the school had already been placed on lockdown.
YPD Detective Sgt. Thomas Cryan said the lockdown was linked to security concerns involving a traffic stop that was not on school grounds.
The incident began when the York Communications Department received a call to 911 shortly after 11 a.m. about a distraught 48-year-old man who “was threatening to kill himself by a cop,” according to a statement prepared by Sergeant YPD. Bryan Cantara and approved by Lieutenant John Lizanecz. The caller reported that the man had a gun and wanted to provoke law enforcement into a fatal confrontation.
When police arrived in the area, they located the man leaving the scene south on Long Beach Avenue in a van, according to the YPD statement. Officers conducted a criminal traffic stop near Webber Road and Long Beach Avenue, where there was “a short stalemate,” the statement said.
The precautionary lockdown at YHS – which is less than half a mile from the standoff spot – lasted about 12 minutes, police said.
“The situation was resolved after the male subject cooperated with law enforcement and was taken to York Hospital for a mental health assessment,” police said.
Authorities recovered a loaded gun from the man’s vehicle, the YPD statement said. No criminal charges were pending Thursday afternoon as the case is still under investigation, police said.
The fact that an off-campus incident was reported to YPD was confirmed earlier by police dispatcher Aaron Hatch, who said the incident did not take place at the school.
In an email sent shortly after noon, Francis informed students and families that the lockdown was not an exercise. School officials had been informed by YPD of “a serious police matter near the school,” so YHS initiated the lockdown “out of caution,” he wrote.
“The students and teachers responded quickly and efficiently and the police matter was dealt with and resolved,” Francis added, thanking YPD, school staff and students for their immediate response.
There was no significant police presence near YHS, around 12:45 p.m.