A man showed up earlier this week at New Castle High School with a knife and hid it on a janitor's cart after he was told to leave, according to New Castle police.
Floyd Booker, 26, of Wallace Avenue, was in police custody on accusations that he entered the school without authorization, said New Castle police Chief Bobby Salem. Online court records indicate that no charges had been filed as of Thursday evening.
Booker went to the high school main entrance around 3:10 p.m. Tuesday, district Superintendent Debbie DeBlasio said, and an administrator called the principal down to talk to him. She said Booker told the principal he wanted to work out in the school.
While they talked, the principal saw that Booker had a knife in a sheath.
DeBlasio and Salem said no students were in the building at the time. A STEAM summer camp for educators had just dismissed for the day and those attendees also were gone for the day, DeBlasio said.
According to DeBlasio, it was raining when the incident occurred.
"He was confronted by the principal and was told he couldn't be there," Salem said, "and he told him to leave."
The police chief said Booker was later seen running down a hallway. Police found him inside the building, but he no longer possessed the knife, Salem said. The officers told him again that he was not allowed to be there.
They later found the knife in a sheath, hidden on a janitor's cart near the janitors' back door and ramp, Salem said.
The police were called about 2 p.m. Thursday on a report that Booker had entered the school again. DeBlasio said he told an office worker that he wanted to work out.
Salem said that when the police arrived, Booker ran off.
"We did a very thorough search of the school, but he couldn't be found," Salem said.
The police chief said Booker called 911 himself, and gave different reports about his location. Police took him into custody at his home.
Booker is to be charged with criminal trespass and taking a weapon on school property, Salem said.
"There were no students on either day, but today there were teachers and office staff there," he said.
Salem said Booker was not confrontational when he talked with the office worker.
He said the police are questioning Booker about why he repeatedly went to the school.
DeBlasio said the school district is increasing security, with a guard on duty daily at the school until classes begin. Regular school security officers will be in place in the district schools when classes resume later this month.