Attack on assistant principal closes Volusia County elementary school

Law enforcement officials conduct search around campus

PORT ORANGE, Fla. - A Volusia County elementary school was closed Friday after an assistant principal was attacked on campus by a man with a box cutter, officials said.

The attack occurred around 6:15 a.m. before classes started at Sweetwater Elementary School in Port Orange.

According to Port Orange police, the assistant principal, identified as 40-year-old Adrian Bronson, was conducting a security sweep of the school when he apparently startled a man, believed to be a transient, near the rear of the campus.  The person then immediately attacked Bronson, slashing his shirt with the box cutter before punching him in the face, police said.

Bronson then ran toward the main office and the culprit ran toward a nearby wooded area, police said. 

"We're not certain how he got into the property or if we will ever have those answers," said Nancy Wait, school district spokesperson.

Officials decided to close the school because a search of a large wooded area behind the school would take several hours. The man was never located on Friday.

Parents were urged to pick up their children, some of whom were bused to another school, officials said.

"I drove here going like 70 hoping to not get pulled over," said mother Sarah Long.

Bronson, who wasn't seriously injured, described the assailant as a white man with a scruffy beard who was wearing a green jacket.

Anyone with information about the man is urged to call police.

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