Verne W. Critz Elementary School in East Patchogue was put on lockdown and a man was arrested Tuesday after police received reports of a person near the school carrying what appeared to be a rifle, Suffolk County police said.

When police arrived they found a man with a rifle, but later learned that it was an old relic that was welded shut, a police spokeswoman said.

The man, who police didn’t identify, was arrested, but the charge is unrelated to the gun, police said.

Responding officers determined that he had “no intention to harm anyone,” the spokeswoman said.

It was unclear how close he got to the school.

The lockdown was lifted around 1 p.m., police said.

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School officials did not return a call for comment.


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Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: Twitter: rashedmian