An unidentified man was arrested on suspicion of trespassing after walking onto San Juan Hills High School property on Thursday, April 13.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department declined to publicly identify the man as of this post because of a pending investigation, though did say he is 33 years old.
The school went into a temporary lockdown after the man was detained and removed by campus security and law enforcement, and later resumed normal operations after authorities left the campus.
No one was reported harmed, said Sgt. Frank Gonzalez, a public information officer for OCSD. The man did not give a reason for being at the school and statements he gave law enforcement were unrelated to the school, Gonzalez said.
Parents were notified of the incident through an emailed message from Principal Manoj Mahindrakar.
“An adult we did not recognize walked into our parking lot. Our procedure when this happens is to enter into lockdown, which we promptly did,” Mahindrakar said. “Law enforcement was called when the adult did not respond to my questions. He was promptly detained and removed by our campus deputy and law enforcement.”
Mahindrakar thanked students for “acting so responsibly and appropriately” in another email sent out.
“Your safety is my primary concern, so when I was unsure of who this man was or what he was doing on our campus I made the decision to go into lockdown,” Mahindrakar said. “I know that hearing that on the loudspeaker is scary, but you all acted appropriately and did what you have been trained to do in such a situation. With everything going on in the world and news today, an event like today, even with a safe outcome, can rattle us.”
Mahindrakar said he observed the man at all times while he was on campus.
“He never came up to a classroom or a student, he did not have any firearms or a backpack or bag of any sort and he did not drive onto our campus,” Mahindrakar said.
Mahindrakar further said he was “thankful that our law enforcement partners were on campus the whole time and additional law enforcement arrived so quickly and removed him from the parking lot.”
“While I wish we didn’t have this incident happen at all, I am proud of all of you and want to encourage you to continue to support each other, speak up when you see something that is not right, and reach out to a trusted adult when you need support,” Mahindrakar said in his message to students.
Mental health services are currently available for students and will continue into next week.