Boca High’s security is up to par

During zero hour on Tuesday, August 20th, Boca High’s police officer Kevin McCabe arrested Peterson Saint-Filas for being in possession of concealed weapons and trespassing on school property. The 43-year-old man had been apprehended outside the eight building in the bus loop.

Principal Dr. McKee said that Saint-Filas had originally been sighted by two girls that had had two previous encounters with him that Saturday. The first had been when he approached the sisters outside their home while being tutored by a teacher. He had asked for a cigarette, and the girls had said no, to which his response was to stab a tree in their front yard. He left after the sisters’ mother told him to get off the property.

The second incident took place just two hours later in a Wal-Mart parking lot when the same girls and their teacher had encountered Saint-Filas. Police said he had chased their car on foot when the trio had fled the parking lot.

The sisters immediately reported the Saint-Filas to a teacher when they saw him in the front parking lot. The teacher then reported it to Dr. King, an assistant principal. Mr. Hernandez, another assistant principal, stopped the trespasser outside the school in the bus loop, though Saint-Filas didn’t stick around and proceeded to walk toward the eight building. Dr. McKee brought Saint-Filas to Officer McCabe, who was accompanied by Dr. Berthiaume. The officer arrested him for trespassing and escorted Saint-Filas to his office.

After doing a background check on him, Officer McCabe learned that Saint-Filas had an extensive criminal record, with offenses ranging from burglary to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. This knowledge prompted a quick pat down for weapons, which led to the discovery of a kitchen knife and a box cutter on his person.

“He [Saint-Filas] had many different stories as to why he was on school campus,” said Officer McCabe. “First he told me that he was here to enlist in the Army. Then he said he was looking for two girls that used to go to school here.”

Saint-Filas also told police that he came to the school “to sit with the kids because they’re supposed to be coming together.” He also claimed to be “best friends” and “in love” with students.

Dr. McKee said that the staff, as well as the girls who reported the trespasser, reacted well to the situation.

“People were alert,” he said. “He was in Officer McCabe’s office by eight o’clock, before most students had arrived on campus.”

Officer McCabe, a retired detective from the Boca Raton Police Department who has been in law enforcement for 38 years, said that it is important for students to be cautious letting people into the school.

“Don’t open the doors,” Officer McCabe said. “You don’t know who’s out there. Students are often careless about opening the school doors for strangers to enter. You don’t know who they are or why they’re coming on campus.”

Dr. Berthiaume said that the best thing to do in situations where there is an adult that you don’t know on campus is not to approach the stranger yourself, but to report it to the nearest adult, whether it is a dean, teacher, or a custodian.

Saint-Filas is currently being held in the county prison without bond.


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