An 18-year-old Baltimore resident was arrested at Old Mill High School in Millersville on Wednesday after a school resource officer stopped him and found three knives in a backpack he was carrying, according to Anne Arundel County Police and school officials.
Norman Hardy of the 2100 block of N. Rosedale St. in the Walbrook neighborhood was first encountered in the school building by a student advocate about 8:50 a.m., school officials said. Hardy, who is not a student at the school, fled outside when asked why he was there, the officials said.
Additional police officers were called as the school's resource officer and school officials began to search the property.
Hardy re-entered the building through a door that had been propped open near the school's weight room about 9:05 a.m. along with a 14-year-old boy who was a former student at the school, police said.
School officials said the two are cousins, and Hardy was visiting his ex-girlfriend, who is a student at the school. Police said they believe Hardy and the younger boy had come to the school to "socialize" but were not authorized to be there.
They entered multiple classrooms and, at one point, Hardy told a substitute teacher that he was a new student, according to a letter sent home to parents by Principal James Todd.
The school resource officer eventually stopped Hardy and the younger boy, finding two buck knives and what was described as a martial-arts knife in Hardy's backpack, school officials said.
The 14-year-old, who has not been publicly identified, has been charged with trespassing and trespassing on school property, police said. Hardy has been charged with the same trespassing offenses as well as two weapons violations, police said.
In his letter to parents, Todd said the school takes the incident seriously but stressed that officials do not believe students were in any particular danger.
"We want to make clear that at no time did either suspect express any intent to use the knives, and at no time were any threats made," Todd wrote. "We believe that their presence at our school, though unlawful, was simply to see and talk to friends and acquaintances."
Bob Mosier, an Anne Arundel County schools spokesman, said the school system and police are continuing to investigate the situation — particularly why the door near the weight room had been propped open.
"What we're trying to find out now is how it got propped open, who propped it open, that kind of stuff," he said.
Teachers and students are also being reminded to close doors behind them, he said.
Hardy and his cousin likely entered the school at first among large crowds of students entering the building for the day, blending in with the school's 2,100 students because they are of the same age, Mosier said.
The incident was the second time in 10 days that a person has been arrested with a weapon in an Anne Arundel County high school. On April 2, a 15-year-old student at Glen Burnie High was arrested and charged as a juvenile with a weapons violation after police said he went to the school with a loaded .22-caliber handgun.
Police and school officials said in that case, the student left the school and came back. He was questioned by school officials and the handgun was found in his book bag, police said.
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