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‘Star Wars’ lightsaber causes Farmingdale State scare, cops say

Suffolk County respond to a 911 call at

Suffolk County respond to a 911 call at the Farmingdale State College campus Wednesday morning, March 16, 2016, after a college student with a toy "Star Wars" lightsaber in a campus parking lot sparked an alert, officials said. Credit: James Carbone

A college student with a “Star Wars” lightsaber in a campus parking lot sparked an alert Wednesday morning at Farmingdale State College, where staff and students were briefly advised to stay wherever they were, officials said.

A student alerted campus police about 9:45 a.m. after seeing a person assembling what appeared to be a rifle in a car in a campus parking lot, Suffolk County police said.

“It was not a weapon. It was a toy lightsaber,” Insp. Mathew Lewis, commanding officer of the First Precinct, said after the investigation.

Campus police alerted the county police, and officers from both forces flooded the parking lots to find the car, Lewis said.

Officers finally found the occupant of the car, also a student, at his off-campus job and established that the supposed weapon was a toy, Lewis said.

The school issued an alert to students, faculty and staff advising them to “shelter in place,” according to a text message a student showed a reporter. The alert was lifted shortly before 11 a.m.

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