MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A man was arrested after a disturbance at an East Tennessee high school on Tuesday.
Investigators said a 32-year-old man wearing only underwear and socks went into the vocational building at William Blount High School trying to pull a fire alarm off the wall because he claimed there were Smurfs inside it.
Blount County Schools said the man entered the parking lot during morning drop-off and was then seen trying to enter two outside doors unsuccessfully.
The department said that’s when the man entered the Career Technical Education wing.
According to school officials, the secretary reported asked how she could help him, and he gave an incoherent response. She then asked him to leave.
Within four minutes, the school resource officer had him in custody.
William Blount High does not have a system that requires visitors to be buzzed into the school, but Betsy Cunningham, the Communication Coordinator with Blount County Schools, said in a statement, “One of our initiatives for the upcoming year is to install a buzz-in security type program at each of our 21 schools.”
The name of the man has not been released, but the sheriff’s department says he was taken for a mental evaluation.
The school system and sheriff’s department stressed students were never in any danger, and the school was never put on lockdown.
The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending against the unidentified man.