A convicted felon walked into a school in Southeast D.C. and almost kidnapped two brothers earlier this month, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
Antonio Burnside, who was already on probation for attempted kidnapping, quickly followed a woman inside the front door of Rocketship Rise Academy Public Charter.
School wasn’t in session because of parent-teacher conferences, but many students were in the building attending an after-school program.
Burnside lied to a police officer at the security desk, telling him the woman in front of him was his child’s mother, investigators said.
The officer didn’t question Burnside or ask for identification, so he was able to make his way to the gymnasium, where he convinced two brothers, ages 9 and 6, that he was their father and wanted to take them to see their grandfather, according to court documents.
The boys followed Burnside of the building, but front office staff ran after them and took them back inside the school.
“What I think is the testament here is the bond with our families that our front office staff has, therefore they were able to very quickly identify that this gentleman was not who he was proclaiming to be,” said Kori Ricketts, director of operations for the school.
She said her staff did everything right and the school has made changes since the incident.
“So now we have made sure to change our procedure so that even on days when students are not in the building, we hold to our 100% ID check, which is a customary policy when school is in session,” she said.
Parents received a letter telling them about the incident and assuring them their children’s safety is the school’s top priority.