Two South Bay schools were locked down Friday morning after authorities pursued a narcotics suspect in the area.
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Liberty Elementary School (2175 Proctor Valley Road) and Thurgood Marshall Elementary School (2295 MacKenzie Creek Road) were locked down shortly after 8 a.m., 10News learned.
Parent Eddie Cox, who can see Liberty Elementary School from his backyard. What he saw and heard Friday morning was enough to startle any parent, especially knowing his children were on campus.
"A helicopter kept circling and we saw a fire truck
we heard the sirens coming through the area, then we heard the helicopter above and nothing unusual yet, but then we started hearing the helicopter talk about a suspect, something about a white T-shirt and red shorts," Cox said.
10News learned U.S. Marshals and members of the San Diego Fugitive Task Force were watching a man wanted on multiple drug-related charges as part of a surveillance mission at Sweetwater Park in Bonita early Friday morning. The man, who authorities thought was armed, drove away in a red pickup truck as authorities tried to apprehend him, leading to a pursuit into the Eastlake area of Chula Vista.
The man abandoned his truck near Proctor Valley Road and hid under a nearby vehicle before he was captured. Authorities said the man was not armed.
Because authorities initially believed the man was armed, officials locked the schools. Anthony Millican of the Chula Vista Elementary School District told 10News, "The kids were safe and we wanted to keep it that way so if there was an intruder we wanted to keep him off campus."
The lockdowns were lifted 15 minutes after they were initiated.
Parents and school leaders were relieved the potentially dangerous situation ended peacefully.
"We were a little freaked out obviously because all the stories we heard, with the event a couple years ago up in Carlsbad
so obviously, as a parent, you're concerned; my wife looked at me and asked if we should go down there
," said Cox.
Authorities searched the man's truck but did not say if they found any drugs or weapons.
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