Staff at Hampden Meadows School in Barrington grew suspicious last Monday morning, Dec. 9, when an older, gray-haired man who used a false story to gain access to the building immediately headed for the boys’ restroom.
The man, described as about 6-foot tall, rang the buzzer at the main entrance of the school on New Meadow Road to get into the locked building, said Barrington Police Chief John LaCross. He said he had to drop off some paperwork.
The man asked to use the restroom as soon as he was inside the building, LaCross said. He was directed to an adult bathroom after being told he could not use the restroom for the boys.
Someone else was using the adult restroom, however, said LaCross, so the man disobeyed the staff in the office and entered the boys’ restroom instead. When he came back outside into the hallway, he left the building as quickly as he came in without dropping off anything at the office.
Now very suspicious, one member of the staff called the police department. Another member ran outside and got the license plate on the vehicle the man was driving, a red Chevrolet SUV, said LaCross.
Patrol Officer John Sgagliardich responded and found nothing amiss in the restroom. Using the license plate number, he traced it to an address at an East Providence home.
The officer also officer checked at the nearby Sowams School to see if, perhaps, the man had stopped there as well, according to the arrest report. He had not.
The Barrington officer then drove to the East Providence home to confront whoever answered the door. The man told the patrol officer that he knew immediately why a Barrington patrol car had pulled up in front of his house.
The man said he simply had to use the restroom and he didn’t think he could make it home. The school was the nearest place with a restroom, he said.
The man said he used the false story to get inside because he was embarrassed that he had to ask to use the restroom. He was very apologetic for his actions, LaCross said. He was not charged.
LaCross praised the staff for getting the license plate number off the man's vehicle.