Five area schools were placed on lockdown for almost an hour on Friday afternoon after a stranger entered Hopewell Valley High School.
School security cameras show that a student opened the door to allow the stranger in the building. It is believed that the student didn’t know the man but was trying to be polite, police said. It is also believed that the man entered the school in an effort to visit a friend, police said.
At about 2:45 p.m., the Hopewell Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call from a staff member at Hopewell Valley Central High School, who reported that the unauthorized visitor was confronted by another staff member who didn’t recognize the man as a student. The man gave the staff member his name, Foster Krupa, and said he lived in Lawrence Township. Police said Krupa ran out of the school after being confronted, and staff members chased him on foot as the high school and the Timberlane Middle School were dismissing students for the day. Police then began searching for the man.
Toll Gate Elementary School, Timberlane Middle School, Hopewell Valley Central High School, the Pennington School and the Pennington Montessori School were placed on lockdown as a precaution. School district officials sent out messages to parents notifying them of the lockdowns. Police personnel were stationed at the schools during the lockdowns to provide added security. Even though the high school had been dismissed for the day, students were in the building participating in after school activities.
With the information provided by school staff members, police were able to locate the man’s address in Lawrence Township and officers were dispatched to the home. Krupa, 19, was found to be at home at about 3:15 p.m. and was taken to the Hopewell Township Police Department. He was charged with criminal trespassing and causing or risking widespread injury or damage. Police said he will be released and his case will be forwarded to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Lockdowns were lifted at all schools by about 3:25 p.m..