Schools in Omak were secured for about an hour this morning after a man identified as 35-year-old Beau True made a threatening call to the school district administration office, said Omak Police Chief Jeff Koplin.
True, an Omak resident, was arrested and taken to the Okanogan County Jail about an hour after the call for felony harassment.
The schools were put into a “secure building status,” which is different than a lockdown, Koplin said.
“It basically means that if kids were in their classrooms they’re going to remain in their classrooms, then rotate between periods as they normally will,” Koplin said.
True was never at any of the school buildings, he added.
“We already knew just about where the suspect was at and we were able to get him into custody fairly quickly,” Koplin said.
Police had contact with the suspect prior to the threat
The threat was made to a secretary at the administration office. True was known to both the district and police after a past trespassing incident, Koplin said.
During the secure building status, all doors at schools are locked, except the main entry so parents can pick up their children.
“From what I understand there was some miscommunication, though, and all the doors were locked on some of the buildings and parents started showing up at the school and they weren’t being allowed to go inside,” Koplin said.
Those parents created more problems for police
“Parents are angry, they show up at the doors and they’re trying to get their kids, so police end up being at the school dealing with that issue. We likely would have got him apprehended about 20 minutes earlier if we would have been free to do so.”
Koplin did not specify the nature of the threats but reiterated that True was never on school grounds and did not have access to any weapons.
True had called the police department earlier this morning upset that the animal control officer had driven by him while he was out walking, Koplin said.
As soon as True was arrested schools resumed their normal activities.