Stuffed animal prompts Orange County school lockdowns

Published On: Dec 17 2012 11:29:33 AM EST
Updated On: Dec 17 2012 02:13:03 PM EST
ORLANDO, Fl.a -

A rocking horse with a black box strapped to it forced officials to lock down two Orange County schools Monday, according to sheriff's deputies.

Orange County sheriff's deputies received a report of a suspicious package around 8:30 a.m. in the area of Crystal Glen Boulevard and Rollman Road.

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When deputies arrived in the neighborhood, they found the stuffed animal rocking horse with a black item strapped to it.  Deputies deemed the device suspicious, and lockdowns were ordered at Waterbridge Elementary and Freedom Middle schools out of an "abundance of caution."

The Orange County Sheriff's Office explosive ordinance disposal unit destroyed the black box in a controlled blast, and the items inside were rendered safe, deputies said.

The lockdowns were lifted after about an hour, according to Orange County Public Schools.

Deputies said it's the second time a suspicious package had been reported in the same area.

"We are classifying this incident as malicious in nature and meant to elicit a law enforcement response," Orange County sheriff's spokesman Angelo Nieves said.  "We are asking our community to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to officials."

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

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