ELKTON, Md. (WJZ) — Frightening moments for some Maryland elementary schoolers when a man goes on a rampage through recess, pushing children to the ground.
The school in Elkton, Cecil County was forced to lock down after the man forced his way inside the building.
Rochelle Ritchie talks to students and parents about the scare.
Recess turns into a scary retreat at Holly Hall Elementary School after police say 43-year-old James Briscoe stumbled onto the playground, appearing drunk, and began antagonizing students and teachers, like fourth grader Shelby Lare.
“This creepy guy came over and he was just… he wasn’t saying anything but he was interfering with our kickball game,” Lare said.
Officials say teachers repeatedly asked Briscoe to leave. He didn’t.
They then used handheld radios to inform the front office of the threat. The children were then told to run into the building.
“During that process, he was… he gained access to the school, and basically went down the hallway and did push some students out of the way who happened to be in that same area,” said Kelly Keeton, Cecil County Schools.
“Two of my friends were grabbed by him,” said Lare. “He grabbed one by her hood and pulled her back and it choked her neck. And the other one, he broke her wrist, cause she had like a cast on and a sling today.”
The school was immediately placed on lockdown and parents were notified of the terrifying situation.
“The school did call a Code Red status this afternoon when a man forcibly entered the building,” the message said.
Parents say they were alarmed at the message and rushed to check on their kids.
“I was a little scared cause I didn’t think anything like that would happen around here,” said Terricul Allen.
Police took Briscoe, who was complaining of chest pain, to the hospital in handcuffs. He’s charged with seven counts of assault.
Lare says she’s confident the schoolyard bully won’t be back for recess anytime soon.
“We won’t have to worry about him again because he’s in jail,” she said.
Briscoe is also charged with resisting arrest.
Right now, Briscoe is in the Cecil County jail.