EASTCHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in a Westchester County town say they’ve made an arrest after a frightening incident at a school serving children in kindergarten and first grade.
A homeless man got past security at the Waverly School in Eastchester and spent seven minutes inside unsupervised on Feb. 28.
Donald Bennett, 60, has been arrested and faces burglary charges.
— Tony Aiello (@AielloTV) March 6, 2020
According to authorities, Bennett told a guard he was there for maintenance.
The incident prompted concern about security and change in procedures.
“What went wrong is someone was let in the building and our school didn’t follow standard operating procedure,” PTA co-president Natalie Vero said.
Eastchester Police Chief Tim Bonci said an older homeless man walked with a cane and talked his way past the school security officer.
The unauthorized visitor spent seven minutes wandering the school and allegedly stole $65 from an unoccupied office, before staff spotted him and escorted him outside.
“We should have been put in lockdown immediately and the man should have been apprehended and the police be called, not an hour later, while it was occurring,” Vero said.
Police reviewed surveillance video and are confident the man did not approach or interact with any of the 460 kids who attend Waverly.
The district said the guard who worked for Summit Security has been relieved of her duties for allowing the intruder inside. She had only been on the job two days, officials said, adding there will be two security guards at the school’s entrance for the rest of the academic year.