An East Anchorage elementary school went into lockdown Wednesday after a woman picking up her children spotted a man aiming what appeared to be a rifle — but was actually a toy gun — at them, police said.
The man, 20-year-old Matthew R. Sandison, was arrested on charges of third-degree assault, reckless endangerment and terroristic threatening, police said.
The mother told police saw the man, dressed in all camouflage, ride up on a bicycle just before 4:30 p.m. as her children were playing on the playground at Russian Jack Elementary School, police said in a public message Wednesday afternoon.
“As the lady was getting her kids to the car, she watched the male walk over to the wood line, take what she thought was a scoped rifle out of his backpack, lay on the ground, and point it at her and her children,” police said.
Police said the woman called the school’s principal, who happened to be in her office with an Anchorage police officer at the time, as she was driving away. The officer saw the man through a window but didn’t see a gun, police said.
Backup officers saw the man riding his bicycle away from the playground as they were arriving at the scene, police said. The gun he had with him was a Nerf gun, according to police.
No students were inside the school at the time, according to police. Officers who searched in and around the school reportedly found no other threat.