AUGUSTA — A report of a suspicious man in black forced a lockdown of Cony High School and Farrington Elementary School on Wednesday, but police said the report probably was false.

The schools were locked for about an hour starting around noon after students reported seeing a suspicious man in the woods who was dressed in black, according to a news release from Deputy Chief Jared Mills of the Augusta Police Department.

He said “due to the nature of the male’s reported behavior,” officials locked the buildings as city police, aided by the Maine State Police and Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, searched the area. However, the lockdown was lifted after 1 p.m., after police found nobody matching the description.

Mills called what happened after that initial response “confusing.” After news of the incident broke, he said a past sighting of a similarly suspicious, black-clad man was reported to police. But Mills said the students who made Wednesday’s report eventually changed their story, which led police to believe that Wednesday’s incident “more than likely did not happen the way it was reported to us initially.”

Police had no description of the man beyond the color of his clothing, Mills said, but anyone with identifying information can call Officer Donnie Whitten at 626-2370, ext. 5015.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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