PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A scary five minutes at a Georgia elementary school after a known sexual offender walked onto campus and into one of the bathrooms. School officials are crediting the staff’s quick action and a new security system to quickly resolve the incident.
It happened at Tate Elementary School in Pickens County Friday around 9:06 a.m. Pickens County deputies said the Bruce Lee Daniell, 57, of Dawsonville, attempted to enter the school through a locked door in the front. When that didn’t work, he walked into the East entrance of the main building where a door was still ajar. Deputies said he then walked into a restroom where he remained for about two minutes.
Investigators said four students entered the restroom during that time, but Daniell never made contact with any of them. A staff member was waiting for him outside and escorted him to the front office. He told school staff he was there to try to get a job.
“Due to the upgraded security camera system, district staff can confirm that the subject had no direct interactions with students,” a statement sent by the school district to FOX 5 News read.
The school resource officer copied his identification and escorted him from the property. It was later determined he was a registered sex offender that had conditions that would prevent him from being allowed on school property, deputies said.
Deputies secured an arrest warrant for the offense of felony restrictions for sexual offenders and burglary. Deputies said he was arrested at his Dawson County residence and booked into the Pickens County Adult Detention Center.
“We want to assure all parents and our community that we take these situations seriously. We must all work together as a community of students, parents and school personnel to keep our campuses safe. Our number one goal is to provide a safe and secure environment for all students and staff, and we will continue to remain vigilant in our efforts,” a statement from the school district read.
Deputies are investigating why Daniell was on school property.
Georgia state records indicate Daniell was convicted in March 2004 for peeping tom charges.