A 20-year-old ended a night of drinking into the wee hours by boarding a school bus heading to a high school in Abington, Penn.
Dominic Herder was walking home on Friday morning after drinking all night at a house party when he saw a Wissahickon High School bus, according to Fox29. He allegedly decided the school was closer to his home than his current location, and he chose to board.
According to a statement reportedly released by the school district, Herder both looked and dressed like a high school student.
After arriving at the school, Herder entered the building. Other students who were on the bus recognized Herder and immediately told the school resource officer upon arriving. When police approached Herder, he ran out of the building but was eventually apprehended.
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“I apologize,” Herder told WPVI-TV. “I was being stupid and not thinking. I do apologize to everybody and their family and their parents for scaring everybody. There’s no harm meant.” In his first court appearance, he also admitted to a drinking problem.
Herder’s bail was set for $5,000 and his next court appearance is April 2.
The school district said in a statement to WPVI-TV: “The perpetrator is not a current or former WHS student. As a 20 year old, he LOOKED and dressed like a high school student, which is how he gained access to the building… He was found to be intoxicated when apprehended by the police, and has since been charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct (among other things). Police interviews concluded he never had any intention of harming anybody — in his state, he was confused and just trying to get home after a late night party at a nearby private home went into the morning hours, thinking ‘Wissahickon’ was closer to his home (he does not live in the district). A search of his phone confirmed multiple texts that were intended to get him home. Nothing else. No weapons or contraband were found on his person.”
The statement went on to outline what the district plans to do to prevent such an incident from happening again, including, “conduct a full debrief of the incident with school personnel, transportation personnel, county school security liaisons and the LG Police Department… Research possible solutions to the bus entry piece, such as a bus pass system or possibly picture ID/swipe functionality… Research possible solutions to the building entry piece, such as a picture ID/swipe system.”
The statement concluded: “We do not want to overreact to an isolated situation, but we also want to learn from this and implement any changes to procedures that may make sense. If any changes are recommended, they will be communicated to the entire WHS community promptly and comprehensively.”
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