NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The New Hartford Police Department has confirmed details regarding an incident that occurred at a New Hartford cross-country meet on September 17.

According to Police, this led to the evacuation of the event, and the mobilization of multiple local area law enforcement agencies, which turned out to be fabricated.

Around 10:00 am on Saturday, officers arrived at a New Hartford Central School District Cross Country meet that was being held at Perry Jr. High School on Weston Road after receiving reports that a man dressed in camouflage had allegedly lured a student contestant into the woods with a handgun.

The alleged victim told police that no physical harm came to him and that he was able to run away from the suspect. He then became lost in the woods and was later found by a civilian off school grounds who contacted 911.

The track meet was immediately canceled, and all participants and spectators were evacuated from the premises. Members of the New Hartford Police and Fire Departments quickly set up a perimeter, a command post was established, and the Oneida County Sherriff Drone unit, Utica Police Department, and New York State Police K-9 units were called to assist with the investigation and search of the area.

During the investigation, the victim continued to tell authorities that his account of what happened was accurate. Then, around two hours into the search, he admitted that he had lied and fabricated the entire story.  

The student’s identity will not be released at this time due to his age. He has currently been charged with the following:

  • Falsely Reporting an Incident (Misdemeanor)

The juvenile will be referred to the Oneida County Probation Department in the future.