UPDATE: [1/30/13; 5:30 p.m.] Authorities have identified the suspect in the Wednesday search that caused two East Norriton schools to be placed on lockdown.
According to Norristown Police Detective Lt. Michael Crescitelli, authorities were searching for Rashaad Grayson on a state parole warrant. Grayson reportedly fled in a car which was later found abandoned at Norriton Fire Engine Company in East Norriton. He has currently not been aprehended. An additional warrant for fleeing and eluding police is pending.
Several concerned parents contacted Norristown Patch today after having been alerted by the Norristown Area School District that Cole Manor Elementary School in East Norriton was placed on lockdown for a brief period on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 30 for nearby police activity.
According East Norriton Police Chief Karyl Kates, her department was assisting Norristown Police with a manhunt for a probation parole violator who was last seen heading towards the area near the school.
East Norriton Police issued a release via their Facebook page alerting residents that at approximately 11:40 a.m., East Norriton Police, along with a K-9 officer from Lower Providence Police Department, assisted in the search. The K-9 eventually tracked the suspect back to Norristown.
Authorities reportedly notified both Cole Manor Elementary and Penn Christian Academy before the K-9 arrived and requested the schools take precautionary measures.
"For the safety of the children, we thought it was prudent to put the schools on lock down," said Chief Kates.
Once the suspect was determined to have left the area, the school were notified and classes resumed as normal. East Norriton Police noted that neither school or any students were in danger at any time.
According to Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono, the search began when a state parole officer spotted a suspect he knew to be in violation of his probation/parole. The parole officer contacted Norristown PD to aid in taking him into custody.
According to Chief Bono, the man was spotted in a car travelling north on DeKalb Street and was tracked to the area of Swede Road and Germantown Pike, where the car was found abandoned.
From that point, East Norriton and Lower Providence police joined the search which tracked the man back to Norristown. According to Chief Bono, police are still looking for the suspect.
Officials from the Norristown Area School District were not available for comment.
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.