A Boy Scout Police Explorer recruiter who exchanged “inappropriate” messages with a Lindbergh High School student over the weekend was arrested Tuesday, the school said in an email to parents.
The school and police did not publicly identify the man, 20, who was arrested early Tuesday by the St. Louis County Police Department because an investigation into the man’s “behavior” is active and he has not yet been charged with a crime, police said. A police spokesman hinted that the arrest had more to do with possible crimes in other jurisdictions than with the inappropriate contact, but did not specify where or what those other crimes might be.
The recruiter for the Boy Scouts of America Law Enforcement Explorer Program set up a table at Lindbergh High during lunch Friday to recruit students for the program, which allows students from sixth grade to age 20 experience what it’s like to go into a career in law enforcement.
Police said the man was a volunteer police explorer in the South County Precinct, but they were not immediately able to say how long he had volunteered with the program or how many other schools he may have visited. He is no longer associated with the program. The school said the program would not be invited back.
“This weekend, he contacted one of our students and shared inappropriate messages online,” LHS Principal Eric Cochran said in the letter to parents. “It is important to note that at no time was this individual alone with a student while on our campus.”
Police discovered that the man was “possibly having inappropriate contacts with others through a social media platform,” a police spokesman said, but added he is not able to give any other details since it is an ongoing investigation.
The recruiter was arrested early Tuesday by county police, but Cochran didn’t specify in his email what the recruiter was arrested for.
Police said that there are no charges against the man and “there are no known crimes that occurred within St. Louis County.” The department’s Bureau of Special Investigations is assisting other jurisdictions in the case to “bring the investigation(s) to a successful conclusion.”
The Lindbergh High school resource officer, or SRO, who is a county police officer, and administrators are working to identify any students who came into contact with the recruiter.
The number of students who spoke to the recruiter is very small, Cochran said.
The school is encouraging anyone with information or concerns to come forward.
“We will continue to assist the police in any way possible as they continue this ongoing investigation,” Cochran said. “In addition, we will not be having this organization back in our school.”
Read Cochran’s full letter to parents below:
Dear LHS Families,
One of our most important roles as educators is to keep your children safe during the time they spend with us each day.
Earlier today, St. Louis County Police arrested an individual who serves as a recruiter for the Boy Scouts of America Law Enforcement Explorer Program. This individual was on campus during lunch last Friday and set up a table to share information with students about the Law Enforcement Explorer Program. This weekend, he contacted one of our students and shared inappropriate messages online. It is important to note that at no time was this individual alone with a student while on our campus.
Our School Resource Officer, who is a St. Louis County Police Officer, and our school administration are actively identifying and interviewing all of the students who we believe came in contact with this recruiter on Friday. The number of students who spoke to this individual was very small, but we encourage anyone to come forward if you have additional concerns or information. We will continue to assist the police in any way possible as they continue this ongoing investigation. In addition, we will not be having this organization back in our school.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Dr. Eric Cochran, Principal