Man arrested after claiming to be Upstate officer, called school demanding they go on lockdown


Tavis Daniel Starns

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Greenville County Sheriff’s Office investigators said a man was arrested after he claimed to be an Upstate police officer while calling an area school and told them to go on lock down Wednesday.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, Tavis Daniel Starns, 34, was arrested and charged with disturbing schools and impersonating a police officer after he reportedly made a phony call to Bryson Elementary School Wednesday morning.

Starns reportedly call the school and claimed to work with the Fountain Inn Police Department, and then demanded that the school be placed on a lock down before he hung up the call.

According to the release, school investigators were called a short time after the call was made and they were able to trace the call back to a LaQuinta Inn on Orchard Park Drive in Greenville.

Investigators made contact with Starns at the hotel and took him into custody.

He was taken to the Greenville County Detention Center, where he is awaiting a bond hearing.

Greenville County Schools officials issued the following statement after the incident:

“Bryson Elementary briefly went on lockout (formerly partial lockdown) this morning after the school received a suspicious phone call from a man claiming to be a Fountain Inn Police officer. The caller told office staff that the school needed to be put on lockdown. School and district personnel contacted Fountain Inn Police and confirmed it was a “phony” phone call. Out of an abundance of caution Bryson went on lockout while the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office School Enforcement Division investigated the phone call. The man did not threaten the school or its students.”

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