ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (WFLA) – When Sean Chlebowski drove up to Zephyrhills High School Thursday morning to drop off his 16-year-old son, the Pasco dad witnessed a chilling sight.
A suspicious man stood there, pretending he was shooting at the campus, gesturing with his hands and fashioning his fingers into the shape of a gun.
Sean couldn’t believe it.
“He had a large backpack and he was making [gun noises],” Sean told News Channel 8, demonstrating the man’s actions resembling bullets being fired.
As Sean’s son went inside to find a school resource officer, the dad remained outside and kept his eyes on the man in question.
According to Sean, the guy stood near a chain link fence, pointing his fingers through it. The incident happened along County Road 54 in Zephyrhills within feet of the school.
But that’s not all the man was doing.
“The whole time this is happening, the guy is looking up in the air talking, looking down talking, having a verbal conversation with someone who wasn’t there,” Sean said.
The father immediately called Zephyrhills police and waited for officers to arrive, then watched the officer speak to the guy, believed to be in his early thirties.
Sean also followed up with the school resource officer and claims the SRO told him they’d keep an eye on the man and the situation.
“Pointing your finger and pretending to shoot is no different than going into an airport and saying, ‘bomb,'” the Pasco parent pointed out. “We all know it’s not right and you shouldn’t be doing it. And you probably should be arrested for that.”
But no arrest was made.
The Zephyrhills Police Chief told us his officer did an evaluation and determined the man wasn’t a threat.
Meanwhile, the family maintains they’re still nervous and wonder why the guy wasn’t questioned further or arrested. The dad recorded a live video on Facebook at a distance. He says the police officer did not search the man’s backpack.
Sean’s wife agrees that more should have been done.
“If it had been me, I wouldn’t have dropped him off,” said Stephanie Chlebowski. “If it had been me, I would’ve dropped him back home with me. But, he’s got to go to school, and we’ve got to be able to feel safe.”
The police chief told WFLA that even though procedures were followed, he wants to review the actions taken by the officer.
In light of the tragic events in Parkland, he says you can never be too careful.
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