Man in custody after brief lockdown at Canton Central School

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 2:42 PM EST
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - Canton Central School went into a lockdown Tuesday morning after a man allegedly tried to enter the school with a knife in his possession.

According to Canton Central School District Superintendent Ronald Burke, a teacher noticed a man trying to enter the building. The teacher told a member of the school’s maintenance staff and said she believed the subject had a knife.

Burke says the teacher notified administration while the maintenance staff member confronted the man outside as a way to get him away from the school building.

From those actions, Burke says, the school was able to go into lockdown and call police. Students and staff were kept out of the line of sight of hallways and exterior windows while the lockdown remained in place, Burke adds.

Burke says police have charged the adult male with attempted criminal contempt charges and that the man had no legitimate reason to be the school.

Canton Police Chief James Santimaw confirmed that, saying Aaron LaVean of Pollock Road, Canton has been charged with 3 counts of Attempted Criminal Contempt.

Santimaw says LaVean has three children enrolled in the school, each with an Order of Protection against LaVean, and that he was to have no contact with them.

According to Santimaw, a pocket knife was on LaVean’s person when apprehended in the school parking lot, but at no point did he brandish it threateningly.

Burke adds the man allegedly had other knives in his vehicle.

Burke does want to reiterate that the school’s first line of defense, locked doors, worked to keep the subject out of the building after attempting to use two locked entrance points. Burke says in the coming days, the district will look to determine what other areas of security may need attention to keep students safe in the future.

Burke thanked school staff and law enforcement for responding and putting the suspect in custody so quickly.

Meanwhile, LaVean has been arraigned and jailed for $5,000 bond or $1,000 bail.