(Bridgeport, CT – Sept. 19, 2013) – A 63-year-old man faces charges after he approached a city schoolWednesday afternoon in military-style clothing and claimed to be a police officer.
The incident happened at Waltersville School on Hallett Street. School security and the principal stopped the man, who had what appeared to be a firearm in his waistband, before he could enter the facility.
The man was at the school to pick up a family member, who attends the Pre K-8 school. After he was confronted, he stated he was a police officer. Police later recovered a BB gun in the suspect’s vehicle.
“The Board of Education and police department work closely to keep our schools safe,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “School security will continue to put the safety of our children first, as they do every day.”
“In today’s world and particularly in our city schools, we have to take every potential threat seriously, and yesterday our educators, security and police did just that.”
A parent approached the school staff Wednesday shortly after 3 p.m. and reported that a man with a gun was standing outside the school. Principal Carmen Ortiz alerted a security guard, who approached the man and told him he can’t be on school grounds with a weapon.
He produced paperwork that indicated he was a police officer. He is not. The suspect, John Teso, then put the weapon in his truck.
Meanwhile, school officials calmly cleared the area of any children.
Police arrived quickly and Teso, of Bridgeport, was detained, questioned and later charged with carrying a dangerous weapon, impersonating a police officer, possession of a weapon on school grounds and breach of peace. His bond was set at $50,000.
During the incident, the suspect did not make any threats or brandish the weapon. Police arrested him at the scene without incident.
School officials alerted parents of the incident.