A 22-year-old man dressed in black, wearing a mask and carrying an umbrella in such a way that it resembled a Samarui sword prompted a scare in Ridgefield that led to a lockdown at area schools and a search involving many law enforcement agencies, according to Ridgefield Police.
Wilfredo M. Seda, 22, of 46 Portland Avenue, Redding, was arrested and charged with breach of peace as a result of the incident, which began at 8 a.m. Monday with a call from a Ridgefield resident about a suspicious man walking nearby.
The initial report alerted police to a man dressed all in black and carrying what appeared to be a rifle in the area of Portland Avenue and Ethan Allan Highway. Ridgefield police said that they, with the help of other police agencies, quickly secured the area and launched a search.
The effort included police dogs and led to Branchville School being locked down and children redirected to another school as a precaution. Other Ridgefield schools were also put on lockdown.
When Seda was located, police said, he was wearing all black clothing, a watch cap and a face mask looking like a beard. Seda did not have a weapon, but police said the umbrella worn across his back had the outward appearance of a sword.
As the incident came in the wake of Friday's deadly shooting at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School, the incident not only led to lockdowns at schools in Ridgefield but at schools in nearby districts in Connecticut and New York. By about 11:30 a.m., the lockdown in Ridgefield had been lifted.
Seda is scheduled to answer the charge against him on Jan. 3, 2013 in Danbury Superior Court.
For full coverage of the Sandy Hook tragedy, click here.