Umbrella causes lockdown
December 2, 2013
By Jacob Brunette
Last month, custodian Allen Anderson walked into Issaquah High School, wearing his camouflage jacket and carrying his umbrella. A short while later, he was facing down a squad of armed police officers.
The confrontation came about as a result of a 911 call reporting a suspicious man carrying what looked like a gun. The police contacted school administrators, who enacted lockdown procedures to protect everyone in the building from the potential weapon: Anderson’s umbrella. After hearing the description of the supposed gunman over his district-issued two-way radio, Anderson recognized himself as the suspect and used the radio to inform administrators.
Under directions from Assistant Principal Derek Heinz, Anderson walked to the front of the school, alone, wearing the coat mentioned in the 911 call. When he reached the front door, he saw four armed police officers in the parking lot.
“About that time, everything kind of went into slow motion,” Anderson said. “I didn’t believe what was going on.”
Anderson complied with police instructions, and officers searched and questioned him. Afterward, the police left without an explanation, and Anderson soon went home.
While the district later gave him a week of paid leave and a letter of commendation, Anderson still feels betrayed by his employer.
“I don’t understand why they sent me out there like that, with people who have rifles with live ammunition in them,” he said. “I just don’t understand why they sent me out there all by myself.”