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Ninja Halloween Costume Triggered Conn. School Lockdown

Central Connecticut State University was locked down for three hours Monday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The school released images of the man who triggered a lockdown and search Monday

    A three-hour lockdown at a Connecticut college on Monday was triggered by the son of a geography professor who was wearing a ninja costume on his way home from a Halloween party the night before.

    University officials said 21-year-old senior David Kyem, son of Central Connecticut State University professor Peter Kyem, was arrested Monday and charged with breach of peace. They said the younger Kyem was released on $1,000 bail.

    Peter Kyem said his son had spent the weekend with a friend, attended a costume party the night before and was not in possession of any weapons. He doesn't think his son has ever held a gun.

    "I think people saw him and mistook him for a gunman," Peter Kyem said. "They are all plastic materials, the mask and everything. ... It was a stupid thing he did."

    The school did not release any other information. Police said no weapons were recovered and there was no threat to the campus.

    "We had no real threat to students or faculty," said Chris Cervoni, chief of the campus police.

    The university declared a campus emergency at about noon Monday, directing people to stay inside and away from windows on the 182-acre campus south of Hartford. State troopers and police from several nearby cities responded, and SWAT teams swarmed around a 400-student residential building, James Hall, where the suspect had been seen.

    "In this situation, our prayers were answered," said Jack Miller, the university's president. "Certainly there have been many other situations that didn't conclude in this way."

    Jordan Governale, a 20-year-old junior from Farmington, said he walked by a man carrying a backpack and with a sword and sheath strapped to his back Monday morning. The man was wearing a mask, camouflage pants, knee pads and a vest resembling body armor, Governale said.

    A minute later, he said, he saw police.

    "At first I thought it was a Halloween costume. But after I saw the cops I thought it was some sort of threat," he said. "It's pretty scary. It's pretty strange, unexpected."

    The lockdown was lifted shortly after 3 p.m. 

    Two others in addition to Kyem were taken into custody, but were not identified.

    Classes were canceled for the rest of the day at the school, which has more than 12,000 students.

    Morgan Podlisny, an 18-year-old freshman who lives in the adjacent Seth North residence hall, said she and her friends watched the situation unfold next door.

    "Our whole dorm was freaking out," she said. "At first, there were a lot of cops there rushing in with guns.

    Two New Britain schools near the campus were also locked down as a precaution, according to the superintendent's office.