Yesterday morning Verne W. Critz Elementary School at 185 Dunton Avenue in East Patchogue went into lockdown.
Police received several calls that there was a suspicious person with what appeared to be a rifle near the school. The first call came in at 11:36 a.m.
The school went into lockdown immediately. The street to the school was also closed as police investigated the scene.
Police found Peter Perez, 31, with the weapon on Dunton Avenue -- about two houses from the school. The weapon was found to be “not operating” -- it was welded shut. Police report it appears Perez had no apparent intention of harming anyone, but Perez was arrested on a misdemeanor charge unrelated to the gun.
The lockdown status was lifted at about 1 p.m.
In addition to police on the scene, the Emergency Services unit and a police helicopter also responded to the scene.
It is unclear at this time why Perez was in the area in the first place with the non-operable gun.