A 42-year-old Forest Lake man was arrested Tuesday morning at Forest Lake Area High School after allegedly bringing a knife onto school grounds, officials said.
The man allegedly entered the school just before 8am on Tuesday as students were arriving. He allegedly went into the restroom near the school office and left behind some spare clothing and a knife, Principal Jim Caldwell wrote in an email to families.
The man was arrested by the school resource officer as he was leaving school property. He was charged Tuesday with possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Washington district attorney’s office.
“Based on our investigation and review of surveillance records, we have no reason to believe he approached any students,” Caldwell wrote. “We think a student noticed him going into the bathroom but didn’t realize it wasn’t another student.”
Officers discovered a compass cover in the man’s pocket and found “a fixed camo knife and a sheath tucked into a corner in a bathroom stall in the men’s bathroom,” according to the criminal complaint. “Officers compared the knife to the compass cover. The knife and compass cover fit together. When questioned, he told officers he thought he might have a knife on him, but he couldn’t remember which pocket.”
Caldwell said school officials are working with officers from the Forest Lake Police Department to investigate the incident.
“Our staff and administrators are reviewing our safety procedures and will remain vigilant for any unauthorized persons on school grounds,” Caldwell wrote. “Student safety is always of the utmost importance.”