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Intruder causes brief lockdown at Albert Lea High School

The 26-year-old man refused to leave the school.

An intruder who refused to leave Albert Lea High School prompted a minutes-long lockdown Tuesday morning.

The Albert Lea Police Department said in a news release school staff called police at about 8:35 a.m. on Aug. 31 to "immediately" report the intruder, with staff members containing the man in the lobby until officers arrived. 

According to an alert on the district's website, the man entered the high school and was asked to leave, but refused. 

"As is our protocol, classes were locked down and police responded and took the individual into custody," the alert said.

Albert Lea Public Safety Director J.D. Carlson told the Albert Lea Tribune the man came in with a group of other students and attempted to bypass staff at the pool entrance but staff escorted him to the administrative office. 

The entire police department responded to the school, with the first officer arriving in less than 4 minutes, Carlson told the paper. 

Officers took the 26-year-old Rochester man to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea for a mental health evaluation, police said in the news release.

The man didn't have a weapon and made no specific threats; he kept repeating he had a right to be there, the Albert Lea Tribune said.

Police searched the high school and determined it was safe for regular operations.

The school was locked down for about 7 minutes, the Alert Lea Tribune notes. 

No other details were provided. 

Albert Lea Area Schools began the school year on Aug. 19 and was the subject of a COVID-19 outbreak that saw 36 students test positive for the coronavirus and 290 others quarantined due to a close contact. 

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