Man Wearing Halloween Mask, Carrying Hatchet Arrested at School

Officials say a 21-year-old Basile man has been arrested after he allegedly walked into Iota Middle School wearing a Halloween mask while armed with four knives and a hatchet.

Acadia Parish sheriff's deputies tell The Advocate ( ) the masked man, identified as Garrett West, entered the school Tuesday wearing khaki overalls, a white Halloween mask, a black wig and a belt around the waist, which held the knives and hatchet.

Deputies say Debra Siebert, the school's principal, persuaded the man to remove his mask and surrender his weapons.

Authorities says Siebert recognized West as a former student of Iota Middle School. A motive has not yet been determined, said Maxine Trahan, spokeswoman for the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office.

"He did attend Iota Middle when he was young and had good memories there," Trahan said.

The incident prompted officials to order a lockdown of the middle school and Iota High School, which is on the same property, Trahan said.

Both schools resumed normal class activities shortly after noon, about an hour after the incident occurred, Trahan said.

West was booked on two counts of terrorism, two counts of carrying of a dangerous weapon on school property and two counts of unlawful disruption of a school.

It was unclear whether West has an attorney.