Authorities Investigating Similarities Between School Intruder, Suspect In Virginia
Posted February 26, 2002 2:08 a.m. EST
PERSON COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities in Person County are looking at the similarities between a man who threatened three girls at Northern Middle School on Friday and a man who verbally assaulted a woman in Nelson, Virginia.
Person County Sheriff Dennis Oakley said there are similarities in how the suspect was described and a man who verbally assaulted a woman from his dark-blue pickup truck in Nelson.
"The blond hair, the blue eyes, the approximate same height, skinny build. It's too coincidental," Oakley said.
The students at Northern Middle School described a man in his late twenties with a two-inch scar on one cheek as the intruder. The suspect in Virginia also has a scar.
On Friday, the intruder entered the school around 10:30 a.m. through a rear door off the loading dock. The door had a faulty catch allowing the man inside. Once inside, the man threatened three female students and told them that he would be back on Monday.
On Monday, sheriff patrols greeted students at Northern Middle School. The threat left some parents concerned about their children's safety, but they said that they were glad to see the added security at the school.
"I'm not very comfortable, but I am thankful that they are here for the students' sake. I think the students feel better," parent April Wheeler said.
"I feel safe with them being here. I'm glad they are here. I don't think anything is going to happen, but it is nice to know that they are here," parent Paula Pullium said.
As classes went on inside, deputies patrolled the school grounds and the grounds of five other Person County schools.
Principal Greg Hicks said the loading dock door will now remain locked. Teachers who used to use the door as a staff entrance will now come through the front doors as students do.