An adult male – described as an “anti-masker” – reportedly harassed an after-school program at Gregory Heights Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.
The King County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the report, saying that officers responded just before 4:30 p.m., but the subject was gone before deputies arrived.
Reports are that the man blocked the door of a portable classroom, harassed staff and children inside, and yelled about how “the government was lying to them about masks, complaining about how he couldn’t go to restaurants, accusing the staff of not caring about (masks) and abusing the kids with masks.”
“The Gregory Heights principal did get a report from the after school program staff that a man came to the door of the portable (not inside) and made remarks to the staff,” Catherine Carbone Rogers, Chief Communications Officer for Highline Public School said. “Police and our security arrived in about five minutes, by which time the man had left.”
The teacher, another adult and students said they were in the portable when they opened the door to take some students to the bathroom. During this transition, a dog ran up to the portable door and a man came up to retrieve his dog. The man then started ranting about the vaccine and COVID, asking a few questions about the program and why they had children there during a pandemic, as well as why the kids were wearing masks.
“While my husband was picking up our daughter from the Gregory Heights Right at School program, there was a man who had gotten into the portable, blocking the door, and was harassing the staff and children,” Honora Estes said in a post on social media. “He was yelling at them about how the government was lying to them about masks, complaining about how he couldn’t go to restaurants, accusing the staff of not caring about and abusing the kids with masks. He was a middle-aged white man about 6′ with short blondish hair and a mid size dog with him.”
The teacher immediately called police as another parent was walking up to the portable at this time and the man left.
“He never addressed the children or had any physical contact with them,” she said. “The police did come and walk the premises as well as my Area Manager. Neither found him on the school grounds.”
The man was described as a 35-year-old white male, tall with blond hair, a medium build, with a mid-sized blond-colored dog mix with a red leash.
“Keep your eyes out. He intentionally targeted a place with kids and could be dangerous,” Estes added.