NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are security concerns at a Queens middle school after an armed robbery in a bathroom. The thief, a male in his teens, allegedly snuck into the school and threatened an 11-year-old student with a knife.
Parents dropping their kids off at Robert A. Van Wyck Junior High School on 144th Street were on high alert Monday after the child was robbed at knifepoint, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.
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“It gives me anxiety, having to drop my son to school and not knowing that he’s safe, that it could’ve happened to him,” said Gina Cepeda.
An email warned parents to be additional careful after police said the speculate managed to get past school security Wednesday afternoon. Officials also released a sketch of the speculate.
Investigators said he pointed a knife at the student’s chest and demanded money. The student said he didn’t have any, so the speculate grabbed his water bottle and took off, police said.
The student was not physically hurt, but parents were unsure if he’s returned to the school since.
“How does somebody get past security?” Cepeda said.
“I feel like they should do more safety precautions with IDs and stuff, and make sure they know who gets in the building,” said Serenity Everett.
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School officials did not say how the speculate got inside the building. A spokesperson for the Department of Education told CBS2 safety agents responded quickly and the department was working with the NYPD to ensure the building’s safety.
“Maybe the system is there, but you have to put in practice properly,” said Ruel Biswas.
After the school bathroom robbery, according to police, the speculate approached a 51-year-old man on 149th Street and started to argue with him. The speculate allegedly pulled out a knife and tried to lunge at the man’s throat. The man told police the speculate slashed at him and cut his jacket. He said the speculate threw a water bottle at him and took off.
Police obtained surveillance video of the speculate at Prideal Singh’s deli on Parsons Boulevard that same day.
Singh said he asked to see identification when the speculate, dressed in all black, tried to buy beer. According to Singh, the speculate refused and called him names. The speculate allegedly removed his disguise and spit in Singh’s confront.
Singh said he chased the speculate out of the store.
The speculate is described as 5 feet, 2 inches tall and 110 pounds.
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Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept secret.
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