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VALPARAISO — Middle school students in Valparaiso were held in a delayed release following a report of a man who grabbed a middle school student on their walk home from school. However, police investigations determined the claim was a false report.

Valparaiso police patrolled the area of Ben Franklin Middle School at 605 N. Campbell St. in Valparaiso, where the person who reported the incident claimed they were grabbed by a man at the end of the school day.

Students who walked from the middle school to home were held at the school as police patrolled the area for suspicious people. The school also put out phone calls and notifications to parents.

“The individual involved later admitted to police that the report was fabricated,” a news release from Valparaiso Community Schools stated.

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind you to continue to work with your children on safety practices going to and from school,” the news release said. “Please remain mindful of your surroundings when picking up and dropping off your children. If you see any suspicious activity, please call 911. Remember: See something, say something.”

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.