The Burbank Police Department has identified a suspect in a trespassing incident that took place at John Burroughs High School on Monday.
The suspect, who remains at large, was chased off campus by a student after illegally entering the school via an unlocked gate on North Parish Place and attempting to steal a sweatshirt from a student.
The incident follows a recent push by school district stakeholders for increased campus safety after a man trespassed onto the campus of Burbank High School and allegedly sexually assaulted three female students in a separate incident March 6.
“[Monday] at approximately 11:45 a.m., an adult male — approximately 25-30 years old — entered campus through [the] Parish Gate. This occurred during the passing period between period 3 and period 4,” JBHS Principal Matt Chambers said in an email to Burbank Unified School District Monday.
“We are investigating how the individual entered the campus through a supervised area. While on campus, the adult male attempted to take a sweater from a student. The adult male was then chased off campus by a second student,” Chambers wrote.
BPD spokesman Sgt. Brent Fekety said when the call was received from Chambers, officers had received an additional call for service regarding the same unidentified man not too far from the JBHS campus and had located him in the area of Buena Vista Street and Riverside Drive.
“Officers attempted to apprehend the suspect, but he evaded arrest by jumping [a significant distance into] the Los Angeles River. The suspect remains outstanding,” Fekety told the Leader.
Police arrived at the scene about 35 minutes after Chambers wrote that the incident took place.
Fekety said, “On May 8, 2023, at about 12:20 p.m., John Burroughs High School Principal Matt Chambers called the Burbank Police Department to report an unidentified male had entered the campus at about 11:45 a.m. An officer responded to John Burroughs High School and spoke with the involved students as well as school officials to investigate the incident. This investigation is ongoing.”
Police arrived on the scene at 12:24 p.m., a response time of four minutes. It is not known why police were not contacted earlier by school officials.
Police are aware of the suspect’s identity and are pursuing his arrest.
“We know this is an alarming situation. We will continue our investigation and will implement the necessary changes to prevent this from occurring in the future,” Chambers wrote.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect in this case is urged to call the BPD at (818) 238-3000.
First published in the May 13 print issue of the Burbank Leader.