Man with Blue Shirt Charged After Brooklyn Yeshiva Lockdown
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — [TheKnish.com] Bracha Klallah was driving to work in Brooklyn, when her baby sitter called, saying something had happened at Rabbinical Academy Mesivta Rabbi Chaim Berlin - where her son attends.
She turned around and ran at least three traffic lights to get to the school.
Klallah was crying the entire time, thinking the worst.
"It was terrible, absolutely terrible, believe me," Klallah said.
Chaim Berlin, went into a lockdown Tuesday after a man with a blue shirt was seen walking across the street from the Yeshiva, too close to the Yeshiva's property for comfort.
NYPD later located the man at his home about a block from the Yeshiva. The man said he was going shopping for some Shabbos supplies, Capt. Hunter White said.
"We do not feel that there was a threat to the school. We wanted to err on the side of caution and make sure the kids are safe," White said, referring to the 90-minute lockdown.
Yonah Chaim Krentz, 51, was charged with violating a city ordinance prohibiting immodesty withing 300 yards of Chaim Belin.
The blue shirt was recovered at Krentz's home, police said.
Members of the NYPD, Shomrim and the school's security responded to the Azure Alert bulletin shortly after 8:15 a.m., around the time students were arriving. The students were taken to a secure area inside as the building and property were searched, White said.
Police decided to make sure the offender did not enter the building after discovering two doors were left open for deliveries.
About 9:45 a.m., police declared the school safe and said they were interviewing the man with the shirt. School officials decided to dismiss school early to the hordes of anxious parents waiting at the main entrance.
District Supt. Shannon Brees said there had been too much disruption to continue for the day. More than 600 students attend Chaim Berlin.
Moms and dads, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles hugged students as they were led from the building.
Klallah threw her arms in the air as her 16-year-old son, Chaim, came out of the door. Both hugged and cried.
"I was scared," Chaim said.
Chaim and Klallah then waited for Berel, who is in second year Beis Medrash, to come out. Chaim patted Berel's back and wiped the tears from his eyes, reassuring him everything was OK.
Tsippy Knopfler and Toby Eisen waited nearly two hours for their children. Both had heard an immodestly clad man was seen in the area and ran for briefings by the Rosh Yeshiva.
"The waiting is nerve-wracking," Knopfler said. "I am scared not just for my son but for all the talmidim."
Knopfler believed the children were safe inside under police guard.
She hugged her son, Yeruchem, an eighth year Beis Medrisher.
Eisen hugged her 34-year-old son, Lipa. Eisen was in the midst of her morning bedika when she heard there was a gunman at the school.
"I am so scared. I am flipping out. I want to pull every hair out of my head," Eisen said while waiting for the lockdown to end.
Martin Bodek is short, dark, handsome, runs marathons (finishes them too!), can solve a Rubik's Cube in 1:47, is a big TED chasid, can whup your keister in Scrabble, loves halva, co-founded TheKnish.com, and writes books from 5-9: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom
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