Volusia County School District officials are trying to figure out how an intoxicated man carrying a pocket knife allegedly wandered into a classroom uninhibited.
Derek Marlowe, 51, was charged with several misdemeanors, including trespassing and disorderly conduct for entering Spruce Creek High School and sitting in a classroom on Friday without authorization.
Although Marlowe told police he was testing the school’s security, Volusia County Schools spokeswoman Kelly Schulz called it a security lapse in a statement.
“Security protocols were not followed,” Schulz said.
At a news conference, Superintendent Tim Egnor called the school’s recent criticism “well-deserved” yet insisted the incident was “honest mistake,” according to Spectrum News 13.
Surveillance video captured Marlowe riding his bike through the faculty entrance, bypassing a campus advisor and arriving at the student parking lot entrance at roughly 8:45 in the morning, according to the affidavit. He then entered the school and wandered about the hallways before strolling into a classroom filled with students.
The teacher initially believed Marlowe, who had taken a seat at a desk, was a visitor but soon realized he was just a random guy.
Not wanting to alarm the students, the teacher pressed his emergency button and calmly asked Marlowe to leave. He obliged and continued his leisurely walk through the hallways before being apprehended by a Volusia County sheriff’s deputy who took Marlowe to the dean’s office to be interviewed.
The deputy wrote that the 51-year-old was clearly intoxicated due to his inability to stay upright, slurred speech and stench of alcohol. In between cursing and threatening the deputy, the affidavit states Marlowe spewed “random things” like how he attends and works at the high school.
“There were no records of him ever being employed at Spruce Creek High School,” the affidavit said.
Marlowe later told the deputy that he went to the school in 1986.
An ambulance was eventually called when Marlowe began complaining of chest pains and insulin withdrawal. His trip to the hospital only confirmed the deputy’s initial thoughts.
“The Emergency Room Doctor determined Marlowe did not have any medical conditions other than being under the influence of alcohol,” the affidavit said.
A review of Marlowe’s recent criminal history shows that his alleged conduct fits into a pattern. Court records show he has been convicted of drinking in public, trespassing and violating a trespass warning all in the last two years.
Schulz said the county’s safety and security team will work with law enforcement to better secure the campus.