Posted: Aug 26, 2010 3:18 PM by Katie Durio
Updated: Aug 26, 2010 6:12 PM
Iowa Police detectives say that it was not a domestic dispute this morning that caused J.I. Watson Elementary/Middle to go on lockdown, but a stranger attack in one woman's yard. According to detectives the unknown subject is described as a black male, 5' 5" - 5' 7", with a medium to dark complexion, wearing dark clothing, in his late teens or early 20s.
Detectives say he threatened a woman in a yard near Kinney and 2nd Street in Iowa at approximately 9:30 am today. Detectives say the victim and suspect are not acquainted. The man allegedly attacked the woman using a knife in a threatening manner before he fled the scene. The victim received minor injuries and was treated and released.
Detectives say the attack was near the school which prompted them to lock down the school as a safety precaution while they worked with police and the SWAT team to clear buildings where he could be hiding.
Ron Hayes, Risk Manager at the Calcasieu Parish School Board, said "it's always a challenge. The closer it is to the campus, the more of a threat it could be for our student population. So when it's this close it really gets our immediate attention, which is exactly what happened."
K9 units and aircrafts were also called out to attempt to track him. After searching, investigators cleared the area after it appeared to be safe and took the school out of lockdown. Investigators processed the crime scene and collected evidence and are currently investigating. Iowa police and the Calcasieu Sheriff's office have increased patrol and are still investigating.
Keith Vincent, Iowa Police Chief, said "our town is pretty safe. This is not a normal occurrence. That's why we are doing everything we can to catch him because we want to set a precedence that if you do those things in Iowa we will do everything we can to put you in jail."
Police are asking anyone with information to call Iowa Police or the Calcasieu Sheriff's office with any information on the incident.