Parents furious after security guard allowed intruder inside Eastchester school

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ByCeFaan Kim via WABC logo
Monday, March 2, 2020
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CeFaan Kim has more from Eastchester.

EASTCHESTER, New York (WABC) -- Hundreds of parents packed a school auditorium in Westchester County to voice their concerns about a school intruder.

A new security guard at the Waverly School in Eastchester allowed an unidentified man into the school on Friday. Hundreds of young students were in the school at the time.

As a result, all schools in the Eastchester School District will start two hours late on Monday so officials can review security procedures before the doors open.

"Incompetency and excuses all around," said parent Jose Gutierrez.

Principal Mari Doyle says the police should have been called sooner.

"We failed you as the security guard company," said Walter Beatty of Summit Security Services.

School officials say a man showed up at the school, claiming to be a maintenance worker, then asked to use the bathroom, which the security guard allowed. His ID was never checked, and the school says it was never verified if he was supposed to be in the building.

The man then wandered the school alone, walking into empty classrooms, where he allegedly stole $65 out of a teaching assistant's wallet. He walked the hallways and even went up to the second floor. It took seven minutes before anyone noticed him.

Then, officials say things got worse. The man was escorted out of the building, but by the time police arrived, he was gone.

"To hear that man was walking through the building with a duffel bag, it's pretty concerning. And then the protocol was to contact the cops an hour later. That's not a good thing," said parent Paul Tedesco.

The security guard was fired immediately.

Officials say the man never interacted with a child, but for parents, it is about what could have happened.

"We're going to have extra security personnel, new security personnel on-site. Doubled up, twice as many - we're going to have police presence there," said Eastchester School Superintendent Robert Glass.


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