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police & fire

Teen Brought Fake Gun Into Monsey School, Menaced Faculty, Police Say

Yechiel Lefkowitz was arrested at Elmwood Elementary School in Monsey.
Yechiel Lefkowitz was arrested at Elmwood Elementary School in Monsey. Photo Credit: Google Maps

This story has been updated.

MONSEY, N.Y. -- A Spring Valley man is under arrest after walking into Elmwood Elementary School around 1 p.m. on Friday and pulling out a fake gun, according to the Ramapo Police Department.

Yechiel Lefkowitz, 19, walked directly into the main office of the school on Robert Pitt Drive, and said to a school secretary that he wanted to show her something, said Detective Lt. Mark Emma.

He then pulled a fake handgun from inside his jacket and dropped it on the floor. School employees were able to detain Lefkowitz until police could arrive, Emma added.

East Ramapo School Board President Yehuda Weissmandl said at no point were students in danger.

“Earlier today an incident occurred in which we believe an adult relative of a former student entered the main office of Elmwood Elementary and acted erratically.," Weissmandle said. "At no point was the safety of our students compromised and he was arrested very quickly. The young man today never went past the main office and never encountered any students."

He added that the safety and wellbeing of the students is the district's foremost priority.

"We take great care in providing a safe and secure environment for our students and today’s incident demonstrated that our security protocols seem to be working as they were designed."

However, the he added, the district will immediately assess with security personnel and local law enforcement if any updates or improvements should be made.

Lefkowitz was charged with felony burglary, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

"He was charged with burglary because he had no legal right to be inside the building," Emma said. "It is also illegal to possess a fake gun, which is why he was charged with possession of a weapon."

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