A 42-year-old man was arrested for threatening after seven schools in Southington were placed in "secure schools" mode on Tuesday morning.
Southington Police LT. Michael Baribault said Gregory R Daly, of Southington, made "personal threats against the staff member" at Southington High School. The threats came after Daly was involved in a dispute with the staff member.
"It was personal threats, made directly to that employee," said Southington Police Lt. Michael Baribault.
Following the threat, Southington Superintendent Timothy F. Connellan sent notifications to parents that Southington High, DePaolo Middle, Hatton Elementary and Flanders Elementary schools were placed into "secure schools” around 8:15 a.m.
A short time later, Kennedy Middle, Derynoski Elementary and Plantsville Elementary schools were added to the "secure schools" mode, which is also known as a soft lockdown.
Connellan stressed that it was only a precaution. None of the schools were the target of the threat, Baribault said.
It is unclear why all the additional schools were added to the soft lockdown. Police are expected to release that information later on Tuesday.
During the "secure schools" mode, Connellan said all outside activities were temporarily suspended. No one was allowed to enter the building and streets were blocked off to the buildings.
Baribault said they've added additional patrols to the area. The Southington police said they investigated the incident and the soft lockdown was lifted around 9:40 a.m.
Daly was arrested and charged with first-degree threatening, second-degree harassment and breach of peace. Police seized seven firearms from his home.
After regular statues was returned at the seven schools, roads reopened and were able to "resume normal operations," Connellan said.
For parents who saw the police swarm their neighborhood schools, they said they're glad the school took that extra precaution.
“Everything that's been happening in the United States, I'd rather have my kid locked down and safe then have something happen,” Southington High parent Jennifer Medina said.
"It's a precaution to shut down all the schools and I think that's good. It makes me feel good for the safety of my son too, that everything is being locked down," said Southington parent Martha Maxfield.
Tyler Maxfield, a fifth grader at Hatton Elementary, was in the nurse's office when his parents tried to pick him up.
"When my parents came to get me, I heard the nurse say they need your ID," Tyler Maxfield said.
Daly is being held on $500,000 bond. He is expected to be arraigned at Bristol Superior Court on Wednesday.
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