Student's Cell Phone Perceived as Gun Spurs School Lockdown, Cops Say

Long Valley Middle School spent 30 minutes in lockdown mode Friday morning for what was deemed 'non-issue.'

A student holding his cellular phone at a bus stop Friday morning led one passerby to believe it was a weapon, sending the Long Valley Middle School into a lockdown, Washington Township Police said.

A motorist reported that as they drove by a bus stop Friday morning, they saw a teen male point a “black shiny metallic object” toward passing cars, Lt. Mark Niemynski said. Students at that stop were boarding the bus at the time, Niemynski said.

The motorist then alerted another bus driver passing the area, saying they believe it was a handgun in the student’s possession, Niemynski said. Washington Township police were notified and the Middle School was immediately put into a lockdown at 8:50 a.m.

Officers responded to the school and located the student in question, Niemynski said. While investigating, police learned the student had extended his arm while holding a cell phone while traffic was passing, Niemynski said.

The lockdown was lifted around 9:20 a.m. and classes resumed.

For questions about this post, please email jason.koestenblatt@patch.com.

Blue Note Editing & Writing April 11, 2014 at 08:01 PM
I'm still trying to figure out how someone mistakes a phone for a gun. No matter what side of the "gun issue" you fall on, you have to agree that the two objects look very different. An innocent kid was searched, detained, treated like a criminal, probably embarrassed, humiliated and scared. All because someone with bad eyesight and perhaps a case of age bias let his imagination run wild rather than looking a little more closely. Is this guy going to call the police every time he sees something in someone's hand? I want my kids to be safe, too, but not at the price of freedom - not when it means they can be detained and searched every time someone THINKS they might have seen something that doesn't even remotely resemble a gun.
Joshua Hughes April 12, 2014 at 07:48 AM
Issue #1: cell phone = gun. I'm sorry, only an idiot could mistake the two. Issue #2: too quick to go on "lockdown"
Barbara Duncan- Hearon April 12, 2014 at 07:53 AM
What other characteristics did his student possess for a motorists single to him out for carrying his cells phone? Over reaction over a cell phone!!?
Chuck Ruff April 12, 2014 at 08:45 AM
Google 'cell phone mistaken for gun', and you'll see it's actually pretty common. Just be thankful the kid wasn't shot dead as Amadou Diallo was when the cops thought his wallet was a gun.
LV Outdoorsman007 April 12, 2014 at 11:02 PM
I can see a cell phone being mistaken for a small Conceleable weapon like a nano pistol.


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