Police continued to search Friday afternoon for a man who approached a student on a city school campus earlier in the day.
About 10 a.m. Friday, police responded to MacIntyre Park Middle School and Scholars Academy when an eighth-grade male student was approached by a man trespassing on the joint campuses.
“The student was able to get away from the suspect and notified school personnel of the incident. The student was not hurt, and the suspect was not located on campus by the officers,” said Lt. Eric Hampton, Thomasville Police Department public information officer.
Police and Thomas County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched the area, assisted by school personnel.
A man was taken into custody and questioned Friday morning, but was released.
“He was not the man we were looking for,” Hampton said.
The suspect was described as a white male, 6 feet tall, wearing ragged clothing, a black jacket, blue work pants, dirty shoes, with brown hair and a light beard.
Anyone who sees someone fitting the description or has information about the incident should call the police Criminal Investigations Division at 227-3302 or Crimestoppers at 227-3305.
Sabrina Boykins-Everett, Thomasville City schools superintendent, said campuses at the Scholars Academy, MacIntyre Park and nearby Thomasville High and Scott Elementary schools were on lockdown for about 1 1/2 hours Friday morning.
“Fortunately, the student managed to get away from this person,” Boykins-Everett said, adding that police responded immediately.
All staff have been told to always be alert for strangers on campus and to report any suspicious activity or person to the front office, she explained.
“It is unnerving to think that a stranger was on a campus with any ill intent toward a student,” the superintendent said. “We have recently reviewed our school safety plans to ensure that everyone is aware of our practices for maintaining safety. We are currently working with Thomasville Police Department planning drills that will ensure clear communication and proactive safety strategies.”
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.