Columbia Police arrest same man for trespassing at another school

2 months 1 week 21 hours ago Tuesday, April 16 2019 Apr 16, 2019 Tuesday, April 16, 2019 9:57:00 PM CDT April 16, 2019 in Top Stories
By: Arielle Cadet, KOMU 8 Reporter and Wesley Weglarek, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
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COLUMBIA - The man reported for suspicious activity at West Middle School Tuesday morning is charged with first-degree trespassing.

CPD identified the vehicle as one belonging to Kelvin Joe, 53, of Columbia. On April 9, Columbia Police investigated two suspicious incidents at Gentry Middle School and College Park Christian School.

Surveillance video from Gentry showed the man, later identified as Kelvin Joe, approaching a student. Joe was taken into custody and told police he was trying to give away money.

Last week, KOMU 8 was approached by Joe, who said he didn't mean any harm.

“I went to turn myself in to make sure they ain't gotta look for me cause I know I didn’t mean no harm," Joe said at the time. "I’m not gonna go near those schools because I learned my lesson."

Early Tuesday morning, before students arrived at West Middle School, a school administrator spotted an older model black Mercedes with black tape over the emblem on the front of the car, the letter said. 

According to a probable cause statement, Joe was approached by a CPD officer who asked him if he went to any other Columbia Public Schools. Joe told her he had been to all of them. According to the probable cause statement, Joe said "he went to school's to bless them." 

Mike Eaton, a parent at Gentry, said he's had four children attend the middle school and never had an experience like this one. 

"It seemed really odd to me actually, it certainly not something that happens very often," Eaton said. 

Other parents were concerned that Joe was not arrested during the Gentry incident and was only given a verbal warning. Columbia Police Department PIO Jeff Pitts said Joe was not arrested because the school did not have "No Trespassing" signs at that time. On Wednesday, the school did have signs posted. 

West Middle School on Tuesday asked parents to be extra vigilant during arrival and dismissal. 

Joe's bond is set for $10,000 and is not allowed on any Columbia Public School campuses. 

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