Man arrested after trying to enter Bridgeport school
BRIDGEPORT – Police have arrested a suspect after he tried to get into the Achievement First Charter School on Stillman Street just after 7 a.m. Friday morning.
Police have identified the suspect as Alex Wichelm, of Bridgeport. At the time of the incident he appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
Paul Hernandez, a board of education security officer who was dropping his granddaughter off at the school, called police when he saw the suspect acting “erratically.” His nephew, Robert Hernandez, confronted the suspect, while school staff immediately locked the school doors. School bus operators made sure the students were safe.
After a brief struggle between Robert Hernandez and Wichelm, the suspect fled towards Pembroke Street while Robert and Paul followed him to update the police on his location. The suspect was arrested by police and transported to Bridgeport Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
“We emphasize training and preparedness every day to ensure our kids are safe, not just our city schools but also in our charter and private schools,” said Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. “This morning was an example of why that is so important. Everyone followed their training and did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
Lenny Speiller, a spokesperson for the Achievement First school, also released a statement regarding the incident:
We are thankful that all our students at Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Elementary School are safe and sound, and proud of our school community–parents, staff and security team–for being alert, taking action and coming together to keep our children safe. We also appreciate the quick and professional response of the Bridgeport Police Department.