EAST NORTHPORT, New York, September 18
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
A Northport man was arrested on Sept. 11 for allegedly exposing himself to students outside of East Northport Middle School, Suffolk County police said.
At approximately 3:55 p.m. the 45-year-old man exposed himself in a manner that was witnessed by three East Northport Middle School students just outside of the building, near the entrance a boys’ locker room, Supervisor of Security Nolan Briggs said.
Following the alleged actions, Briggs said, the man attempted to enter the building through the boys’ locker room but was stopped and questioned by a coach who told the man he could not enter the building.
Briggs said students ran to inform a security guard of the incident, while the man returned to his vehicle and drove away. The security guard was able to get a partial license plate number from the man’s vehicle, which aided in the man’s arrest, Briggs said.
Police said the man was arrested in East Northport a short time later and was charged with public lewdness, three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and unlawful possession of marijuana. The man appeared at Suffolk First District Court in East Islip on Friday and was scheduled to appear again on Tuesday.
The man’s attorney was not able to return a request for comment before press time Tuesday.
The man – whose identity is being withheld by Long Islander News to protect those involved – was not someone banned from the district, and therefore there was no way of knowing that he could be a threat to security, Briggs said on Tuesday.
The incident comes on the heels of a new security system put into place in Northport-East Northport School District secondary schools. Visitors to the two middle schools and Northport High School must swipe their driver’s licenses through a machine before conducting business at the school – like picking up or dropping off a child. As of last week, the system – which runs visitors’ information through a sex offender database and the Department of Motor Vehicles – was still being implemented at East Northport Middle School.
“This is why, on an ongoing basis, we’re always reviewing all of our security and safety procedures to see what we can do to make buildings more secure,” Briggs said. “We want to make it safer for our students… But when you have someone who was legitimately allowed to be on the grounds… do something totally unexpected, even if we were checking that person’s license, that’s not something we can [predict].”
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Record (Thursday, September 18, 2014; A5)