Cottage Grove police search for man carrying possible hatchet near a high school

Three schools in Cottage Grove went into lockdown Wednesday afternoon after a man was reportedly walking near a local high school with what was believed to be a hatchet.

The Cottage Grove Police Department said officers received a report around 2:40 p.m. for a shirtless man walking near the Park High School carrying what’s believed to be a hatchet and a knife on his belt. 

As a precautionary measure, Park High School, Hillside Elementary, and Crestview Elementary were placed on lockdown. Cottage Grove police received help from the Minnesota State Patrol and Woodbury Police Department to search the area for the man, according to police. 

Students began to leave school around 3:05 p.m. with law enforcement assisting with the dismissals and stayed in the area while students walked home. 

There has been no reported crime at this time, and officers were still searching the surrounding area looking for the man as of 3 p.m. A drone was also deployed to assist in the search. 

The Cottage Grove Police Department said no shelter-in-place order was issued, but if anyone sees anything suspicious, please call 911.