HOPATCONG, NEW JERSEY — The pen may very well be mightier than the sword. One, mistaken for a rifle round, was powerful enough to lock down Hopatcong High School.
Police said they were called to the school Wednesday just after 4 p.m. for a report of a rifle round found just outside the main office. The “round” had the imprint of a .338 on the casing around the primer, which was still in tact, police said.
Officers locked down the school, which was done for the day but still open to sports teams, police said. The Sussex County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit responded and searched the school for more rounds or explosives, but nothing turned up, and the school was reopened, police said.
When authorities reviewed school video, they saw the “round” coming out of a student’s bag, and the student was called to police headquarters, police said.
“When he responded, he showed the officers that this bullet was really a pen,” police said in a news release on the incident. “The bullet that would come out of the casing when fired has a pen attached to the end that would seat up against the powder. Unless one pulled on the bullet portion to try and separate it form the casing, there is nothing to show that this is not a live round.”