Campus locked down after umbrella triggers alert

March 16, 2012

The Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York was placed on lockdown Friday morning after a man with an unusual umbrella was mistaken for an armed intruder.

Students and staff received an alert via text message shortly after 8:30 a.m. warning them of reports of a person with a gun on campus near Kate Gleason Hall, a dorm, reported Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle. Students were told to stay inside and lock and barricade their doors.

 “#RIT Alert has been activated. Report of an individual with a rifle allegedly outside of Kate Gleason Hall. Remain in place for more updates,” the school wrote on Twitter.

The call came from a Regional Transit Service bus driver who saw a student on the Henrietta, N.Y., campus carrying what appeared to be a rifle, reported The Democrat and Chronicle.

Photography student
RIT security and Monroe County sheriff’s deputies talked to the student, identified only as a first-year photography major, after tracking him down in nearby Nathaniel Rochester Hall, according to the newspaper. Less than an hour later, it was determined that he was carrying an umbrella with a Samurai sword-style handle, police told the paper.

The lockdown was canceled shortly after 9:30 a.m. Traffic, which had been re-routed, was returned to its normal flow.

Bus driver reported what he thought was person with rifle. Police investigation found it was umbrella w/ Samurai sword handle,” the university said in an updated tweet.

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