Greenwich Police Share Identity of Former Student Arrested at WMS

Update #4:

Greenwich Police announced Wednesday afternoon that Miguel Valdivia, 19, of20 Bruce Park Ave in Greenwich was arrested for entering Western Middle School on Wednesday morning.

He was charged with:

53a-107 Criminal Trespass 1
53a-180aa Breach of Peace
53a-167a Interfering with Officer

Valdivia’s bond was set at $100,000, which he was unable to post. He was put in a GPD holding cell until he is able to post bon. He is due in Stamford Superior Court on April 3, 2024.

Miguel Valdivia. March 20, 2024 Photo: courtesy Greenwich Police Dept

Update #3. Wednesday afternoon Dr. Toni Jones send a follow-up communication to Western Middle School families after a 19-year old was detained for trespassing in the building earlier in the day. She explained security protocols and asked families to be careful about sharing unconfirmed reports on social media or word of mouth.

As you know, Western Middle School experienced a lockdown due to an unauthorized visitor entering the building during morning arrivals today. Not only did the WMS staff act quickly, but the swiftness of the Greenwich Police Department was extremely commendable in determining that the unauthorized visitor did not possess any weapons or acted in a threatening manner. Our buildings are equipped with security cameras, and our staff are trained to ensure the safety of everyone in our buildings. The Safety & Security Department and leadership teams are always looking for areas of improvement through a series of debriefs when incidents occur.

Our mental health specialists were onsite this afternoon to talk to our students and staff for support. Therapy dogs were also brought to the building that was very calming and popular amongst the students. 

The district’s psychologist has offered the following advice:

“Talking with children about sensitive topics, such as a lockdown, can be challenging, yet children look up to the trusted adults in their lives for guidance. When speaking with your child, stay calm and use age-appropriate language. Limit details, stick to facts, and let them guide the conversation. Be honest and check in with them regularly to assess how they feel. Please assure kids that everyone is working very hard to keep them safe. If they continue to be distressed, please contact the Western MS team and communicate the concern. Mental health specialists are well equipped to offer any student needing additional help.”

During times like this, we want to remind you that no one is allowed to exit or enter our buildings, and keeping the area around our schools clear to allow the police to do their jobs and complete their tasks in a safe and efficient manner is extremely important. We understand that stressful times can lead to extreme anxiety and the need to share information with others. We caution you to always receive the facts from the district or the local authorities and refrain from sharing unconfirmed reports on social media or through word of mouth.

Dr. Toni Jones, Superintendent of Schools

Update #2: Greenwich Police said they responded quickly and apprehended the suspect without incident, who was a 19-year-old former student. Students and WMS Staff were not harmed and no threats were made toward them.

Update #1: The shelter in place has been lifted.

On Wednesday morning at about 8:35am, Western Middle School went into lockdown due to an unauthorized individual who entered the building with students during arrivals.

According to an email from Greenwich Schools superintendent Dr. Toni Jones and Greenwich Police Deputy Chief Mark Zuccerella, police responded immediately, apprehended the person, and took him into custody.

“While the individual possessed no weapons or appeared threatening in any way, the building remained in lockdown, out of an abundance of caution,” they wrote.

They added that Greenwich Schools security and Greenwich Police checked security cameras in and outside of the building to determine the pathway taken by the individual.

“The building remains in a shelter in place until the GPD completes their tasks. No one is allowed in or out of the building,” Jones and Zuccerella wrote.