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Reported Ashland High School campus intruder behind bars

School officials contacted police after an intruder was reportedly seen around the campus several days this week.

Posted: Feb 14, 2020 11:21 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2020 3:10 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — Officials at Ashland High School say that the school went on a precautionary lockout on Friday after reports of a "campus intruder" over several days this week. Now, according to Ashland Police, the alleged intruder is behind bars.

"The precautionary lockout is over," interim principal Samuel Bogdanove said in a Friday email to parents and staff. "In a precautionary lockout, students continue working in classrooms. Windows are covered and doors are locked."

According to Bogdanove, there were reports of the intruder on Wednesday and Thursday. The man tried multiple times to engage with Ashland High School girls both on and around the campus and banged on classroom windows.

"We were able to provide a picture of the intruder to police who identified the individual and are following up," Bogdanove said. "A police officer was on campus during the lockout as a precaution."

The interim principal said that two emails and a text had been sent out to parents earlier, but many parents reported not seeing the email "due to a technical issue" that has since been resolved.

The intruder was identified by police as 36-year-old Matthew Todd, and students were being shown a photo of him prior to lunch. Bogdanove said that students were being directed to consider having lunch in the cafeteria.

"If they do opt to eat off campus, students should travel in groups and call 911 if they spot the individual," he said. "Staff will be present around campus during lunch and any passing periods."

Ashland High later said that both Medford Police and Ashland Police were familiar with Todd, and that both agencies were trying to find him.

According to court documents, Todd was accused of a groping the female manager of a Medford Starbucks in 2018. Charges against him were dropped after he was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial, and he was referred to Jackson County Mental Health for a consultation.

Just a few months earlier, Todd was convicted of Harassment for repeatedly touching a woman on the shoulder and brushing her hair on a Rogue Valley Transportation bus.

"This individual should not be on an Ashland Schools property," said Laurie Rooper with the Ashland School District. "If you see him on or near an Ashland Schools campus, please dial 911 to notify the APD. We also want to encourage families to take this opportunity to remind children and young people about the importance of immediately notifying a trusted adult if any person makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable."

On Monday, Ashland Police reported on Facebook that Todd had been taken into custody on unrelated charges. According to the Jackson County Jail log, Todd was booked on a second degree theft charge.

"APD is going to continue to work with the DA's office and other appropriate agencies to figure out the best way forward and to do everything possible to ensure community safety," the agency said.

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