Davie, FL – A man toting a brightly-colored toy rifle caused the lockdown of three college campuses last week.
The incident began just after 9 p.m. on Oct. 3 when a student called the Davie Police Department (DPD) to report that she spotted a white-bearded man packing a rifle at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) - Davie, WTVJ reported.
The student claimed that the suspect pointed the rifle at her and started approaching her vehicle, according to the Miami Herald.
“I don’t know if it was a real gun or not, but he kept pointing it at my car,” the woman said in a 911 recording. “I literally sped off as fast as I could… he first pointed up at, like, the sky. He like, showed it to me – well, presented it, rather – and then as I was pulling out, he was, like, pointing it at my car.”
FAU, Broward College, and Nova Southeastern University were all placed on lockdown due to their close proximity to one another, WTVJ reported.
“BC Alert: Central Campus – Shelter in place,” Broward Collage said in a tweet. “The campus is on lockdown due to police activity in the area. Please await further instructions.”
“Possible W/M with a rifle was seen close to the campus,” the DPD tweeted a short while later.
Officers searched the campus on foot and with helicopters, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The lockdown continued for nearly three more hours, the Miami Herald reported.
Just before midnight, officers located a 60-year-old man walking along Stirling Road, which is a significant distance away from the campuses, according to the paper.
He was carrying a green, orange, and yellow toy rifle in his hand, and was packing a black umbrella under his arm, police said.
He was also wearing a gray sweater and had a white beard, which matched the description provided by the student.
The man told police that he had been walking in the campus area earlier in the night, but he denied having pointed the plastic toy at anyone, the Miami Herald reported.
Officers seized the toy rifle, and the man was released.
“After clearing the scene at the #Davie college area. A #DaviePolice officer located an individual with this toy gun walking on Stirling Rd,” the DPD later tweeted. “They both matched the description given by the witness. The toy gun was collected and the investigation was turned over to detectives.”