A local school district received a big scare after a retired officer said he saw a man with a rifle walking towards a number of schools.

On Wednesday around 10:30 a.m., Ellenville police received a walk-in complaint from a retired New York State Corrections Officer who said he noticed a white man in dark clothing carrying what was believed to an assault rifle walking towards the Ellenville Central School campus.

Ellenville police quickly called the Ellenville Central School District and ordered the campus be placed on lockdown.

Following an investigation by a number of local police departments, it was determined that the man potentially carrying a rifle was actually a local worker carrying a chainsaw.

The man was working to clear brush from under a bridge by Spring Street and Route 209, police say.

The lockdown was lifted around 12:10 p.m., with no injuries to any students, staff or law enforcement, authorities say.

“We take reports of potential threats of this nature extremely serious,” Ellenville police chief Phillip S. Mattracion said in a press release. “In any case of this nature we are going to err on the side of extreme caution, and thoroughly exhaust all investigative tools.”

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