School intruder undetected for over an hour
A registered sex offender who allegedly entered Talent Middle School was able to stay inside the girls’ locker room undetected for about an hour and a half Monday afternoon, Talent police said in a news release Tuesday.
Police responded to the school at about 3:11 p.m. after school officials said a man had been found in the girls’ locker room. A Talent Middle School physical education teacher discovered the intruder during lunch and escorted him to the front office, said Talent police Chief Tim Doney.
“He gave a story about how he was looking for a school to enter his son into,” Doney said.
The man, later identified by Talent police as Curtis Bradley Stevenson, 41, of the 2400 block of North Valley View Road in Ashland, reportedly left the school at the request of staff.
School surveillance video showed that a student opened a side door to the school for the intruder and that he spent more than 90 minutes inside, according to police.
Principal Aaron Santi said two classes went through the locker room during that time frame, but no one reported seeing Stevenson, although a student reported her iPhone missing.
“It’s a super unusual situation, and one we work pretty hard to avoid,” he said.
At about 5:40 p.m. Monday, Talent police found Stevenson at the Valley View Road residence and took him into custody without incident, according to the release.
Police said they located the student’s missing iPhone at the residence, as well as drug paraphernalia, meth and three pairs of female underwear that police speculated might have been taken from the school.
Police also found a school ID card belonging to a different victim, and 58 pills of the antipsychotic drug quetiapine fumerate, according to police, which police believed to have been taken from a Talent residence the same day as the locker room burglary.
Stevenson was slated to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon on felony charges of second-degree burglary, first-degree burglary, identity theft and a misdemeanor charge of computer crime.
Santi sent an email to Talent Middle School parents Monday night apologizing for what happened. He said Tuesday he felt “sickened” by the incident.
He said that a restorative justice specialist from local nonprofit Resolve, as well as the assistant principal and other staff, were on hand Tuesday to talk with students who needed to process. Santi also instructed teachers to talk about the incident in their first-period classes and reiterate security policies. He said structural improvements planned with a school district bond will bolster security, including routing visitors through a main vestibule at the front.
“When things like this happen, it really shakes you,” he said. “I think the good news is, nobody was harmed, and we’re thankful for that.”
Talent police said the department was working with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to learn whether Stevenson might have been involved in any “similar incidents in the area.”
Court records show that Stevenson, also listed in court records as Curtis Bradley Stevenson-Smith, was convicted of contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor in 2009.
Stevenson was not in compliance with the terms of his sex-offender registration, including not living at his listed address, police said.
Stevenson remained held Tuesday in the Jackson County Jail on $47,500 bail.
Talent police ask anyone with information about the case or Stevenson to contact Officer Zachary Mailand at 541-535-1253 and reference case No. 19-1856.