A Portland man accused of entering a girls’ bathroom at King Middle School on Monday morning and offering a female student hypodermic needles was arrested on multiple charges.

Jacob Warren Horwitch, 43, was charged with criminal trespass, violation of privacy and refusing to submit to arrest or detention. He is being held at Cumberland County Jail.

The Portland School Department issued a statement Tuesday evening explaining how the intruder got in and steps it plans to take to reinforce school safety protocols.

Horwitch briefly entered the school around 8:40 a.m. while students were meeting in their Crew groups outside the building, according to school officials. They said Horwitch approached the school from the rear parking lot and unsuccessfully tried to get inside through locked doors.

“Contrary to school security protocols, a classroom door was propped open and the man was able to gain access there. He was seen by a student who was outside and who reported it to a teacher,” the statement said. “After entering the building, the intruder entered a bathroom and encountered a female student and offered her hypodermic needles. The student left the bathroom immediately.”

Horwitch then left the building with a group of students and teachers through a side door. Several teachers noticed him as he was leaving and reported it to administrators.


King Middle School Principal Caitlin LeClair immediately called police, who encountered Horwitch outside the school entrance facing Deering Oaks park and arrested him. King Middle School is located between Deering Oaks and the Portland Expo.

“The intruder’s time in the building is estimated to have been approximately two minutes,” school officials said. “The school did not go into lockdown because the individual had exited the building. As a result of the incident, we are reinforcing the need to ensure all exterior doors are locked and also reinforcing our process for monitoring entrances. We are also encouraging everyone in the school community to speak up if something doesn’t feel or look right, just as that student, staff and teachers did on Monday when spotting the intruder.”

The incident comes as the nation reels from school shootings like the one in Nashville, Tennessee, in March, where a gunman shot and killed three 9-year-old children and three adults at a private Christian school.

Portland Public Schools in its statement told the school community that Horwitch did not have any needles, drugs or weapons on him when police arrested him.

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