SUBURBAN BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A man walked into The Learning Experience preschool in suburban Boynton Beach Wednesday morning and reportedly told staff "the children need to go with God."
Staff members immediately ushered the man outside and called 911. The man stayed outside for about 40 minutes before Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies arrived. During that time three parents stood outside the front doors to keep an eye on him.
After deputies arrived they arrested the man for trespassing and took him into custody under the Baker Act.
School staff members alerted parents to the situation.
"I was a little upset at first, but I'm confident in the school. I did happen to notice the gentlemen out there early," says Michele Lang-Antonopoulous, a parent.
"Crazy people out there, you just have to be extra careful, the school appeared to be on top of the situation," says Gabriel Galletta, who was there to pick up his niece.
Classes for the 170 students enrolled continued as scheduled. Executive Vice-President Pat Campolo says the man was permitted access through the front door by a current registered parent who held the door open for him.
The man stayed outside for about 40 minutes before sheriff's deputies arrived.
Parents voiced their concerns about what they considered a delayed response from deputies.
"They say it took police 40 minutes to get here, at a child center, that's pretty bad," says Juan Fernandez, a parent.
When asked why it took 40 minutes to arrive a spokesperson with PBSO said it was shift change and that deputies were on the phone with a 911 caller monitoring the situation the whole time.
The spokesperson went on to say when the man started arguing with parents, deputies arrived within 5 minutes.