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Man who caused school lockdown admits crime to WKYT

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email

CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) -

It was an alarming start to the day at Central Elementary School in Clark County. Winchester Police were called to the school after school officials reported a strange man trying to sign out a student.

School staff say that because his name was not on the check-out list and the fact that he didn't have any identification, he was denied access to the student.

Winchester Police say that the man told school officials that the child's mother was outside in the car. When school staff went to check, they could not find a car, the mother, or even the strange man.

School officials believe he took off in the wooded area behind the building. The school went under lockdown. Classes continued inside of the building but students were not allowed to go outside for a portion of the day.

Winchester Police searched the area for a few hours Thursday morning. They finally found the man they were looking for.

25-year-old James Tolson II, of Winchester was charged with attempted custodial interference.

Winchester Police say that Tolson admitted to them that he tried signing out the student. But, that he had no intention of actually following through with his plan.

"The name that he gave checked out with a child there at the school. It's not believed that he actually knows the child," says Det. Dennis Briscoe, with Winchester Police.

Police say that Tolson guessed the student's name right because the he has a common name.

WKYT was the only TV station there when Winchester Police charged Tolson with today's crime.

"He's been on the radar for other things in the past. Has a criminal history," adds Briscoe.

Court documents show that Tolson has faced several criminal charges in the past including burglary, assault, and impersonating a public servant.

On his way to jail, Tolson said that he was just "messing around" and that he didn't plan to take the child out of school.

When asked what he wanted to say to the child's parents or to other parents at Central Elementary School, he issued an apology.

"That I apologize and that I'm sorry. That I'm very, very sorry and I apologize and I didn't mean no harm," says Tolson.


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