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Police looking for 'detective' who entered Berkmar Middle

LILBURN - Berkmar Middle School officials and Gwinnett County Public Schools police are looking out for a man dressed as a detective with an Immigrations Customs Enforcement badge and a gun who entered the school Friday without checking into the front office, school system officials said.

The man ran down a hall toward a stairway after an assistant principal, who saw him standing near the restrooms, asked if she could help him, a Lilburn Police Department report said.

"(The assistant principal) said that the Asian male walked by the restroom but never entered the restroom," the police report said. "(She) said she asked twice if she could help the Asian male, but he placed a walkie or Nextel-type phone to his mouth, and said he had to take that call as he ran off down the hall ..."

Although Immigration Customs Enforcement officials said they did not have an officer working in the area Friday, the badge the man was wearing appeared to match the one worn by the federal agency's investigative branch, said Sgt. Tyler Thomas, Lilburn police spokesman.

"It's possible that this man was indeed a federal agent and might even have a child or relative in the school building," Thomas said.

The man was described as an Asian of medium height, build and stature who had dark-colored, graying hair swept to the right and was neat in appearance, the police report said. He was wearing khaki pants, a light-colored shirt and a huge, gold badge on which "I.C.E." was displayed; he was also carrying an automatic gun.

A teacher told police he saw the man leave in a beige sport-utility vehicle.

The law requires school visitors to check in at the front office. Signs citing the law are posted on school doors.

Because the man's identity is unknown and no one knew why he was in the building, Berkmar Middle's administrators and faculty and school resource officers have been informed of the incident, said Jorge Quintana, spokesman for Gwinnett County Public Schools.