A Newburgh, NY man allegedly snuck into two Ulster County schools on Tuesday causing one to be placed on a "lockout."

It all started around 8:20 a.m. Tuesday, April 16th when a cafeteria employee at the New Paltz High School discovered that a person claiming to be a student had gained unauthorized entry to the school.

New Paltz High School
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Man Snuck into New Paltz High School

According to a press release provided by the New Paltz Police Department, a cafeteria employee working at the high school located at 130 South Putt Corners Rd, New Paltz, NY discovered that a person had allegedly gained unauthorized access to the school from the kitchen area.

When the person was discovered, the employee and school staff asked them to identify themselves, and when they refused they were asked to leave the school grounds.

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The employee quickly reported the situation to a school administrator and a New Paltz Police officer who was handling a routine patrol of the school and both began to investigate and search the school grounds to try and locate the individual. A short time later they found the person in a hallway of the school near the main office and identified him as 18-year-old Ben T. Kooperman from Newburgh, New York.

According to police when they stopped Kopperman to question him he fled on foot and ran out of the school's main entrance headed towards a wooded area near the school.

A short foot chase ensued with police quickly catching up to him in a wooded area near a bus garage and placing him into custody.

New Paltz Schools
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New Paltz High School Placed on "Lockout"

To be cautious school officials placed the school in a "lockout" while police continued their investigation.

When a lockout is called for school officials and authorities secure the perimeter of the school to minimize exposure to a safety threat outside. A lockout also prevents anyone from entering or leaving the school and in most cases classes continue without interruption.

New Paltz Middle School
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Man Entered Other Schools in the New Paltz Area

As police continued their investigation it was revealed that Kooperman not only entered the high school without permission he also allegedly gained entry to the New Paltz middle school early that same morning where he was confronted by school staff and ran out of the building.

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Police also said Kooperman was reportedly seen on the campus of SUNY New Paltz before entering the middle school and was engaging in reckless driving.

Ben Kooperman

Kooperman was arrested and charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree a felony and two counts of criminal trespass both misdemeanors. He was arraigned in New Paltz town court and released with an appearance ticket. He was also issued a stay-away order of protection for the entire New Paltz Central School District.

Police didn't release any other information as they are continuing their investigation. When more information becomes available we will update this article.

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