Bend Police have suspended the investigation into a report of a sex crime Friday at Highland Magnet School after the investigating officer had doubts about the accuracy of information he received, according to a Bend Police spokesman.
Lt. Chris Carney said Wednesday that Officer Scott Vincent “is not confident at all” in the information he gathered from witnesses, including the 10-year-old student at the Newport Avenue school who reported seeing a man expose himself in a school hallway.
The student told a parent on the way home from school. The parent informed the school. Vincent interviewed the child Tuesday, Carney said.
The child’s report resulted Sunday in Principal Paul Dean announcing tighter security at the school, including a ban on parents inside the building at the beginning and close of school days.
The child reported seeing a man expose himself at the school day’s end, when parents normally congregated in the hallways.
An adult provided a description of a man.
But Carney said police have no suspect.
He said elements of the story didn’t add up, including statements by two other witnesses that contradicted the student’s original report.
Also, the building’s gates and doors were secured, other than the main entrance, and front office staff reported seeing no one enter that matched the description provided.
“We can’t say 100 percent it didn’t happen,” Carney said. He declined to describe the student’s report as unfounded.
He said that unless police take the opportunity to interview a child first, they may miss the child’s original recollection that parents or others may influence with persistent questioning.
— Bulletin staff reports