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Statement: Suspect tells police he wanted to 'bless' schools

Kelvin Joe was charged with trespassing

Trespasser Trying to bless schools

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A man who caused a stir at several Columbia schools has been charged with first-degree trespassing. 

Kelvin Joe told police he went to the schools to 'bless them' and felt compelled to do so, according to a probable cause statement filed in the case.

Joe, 53, of Columbia, is accused of going onto the property of West Middle School after being warned by police to stay off Columbia Public Schools property last week. According to a probable cause statement, someone reported seeing Joe's vehicle on the West Middle School property Tuesday morning before the school opened. 

Police identified it as the same vehicle Joe was in a week earlier when he went up to a student at Gentry Middle School. Officers arrested him Tuesday after finding him at Stephens Lake Park. The statement filed Wednesday says Joe admitted to going to the schools and that he went there to "bless" them.

Cameras at Gentry Middle School showed Joe going up to a student and offering him money last week, trying to get the student to his vehicle. After that incident, police gave Joe a no trespassing warning but said they didn't believe he intended to harm children. 

Before that Joe was given a trespassing citation for being at College Park Christian Academy. 

Many parents voiced their concerns about Joe being released last week, saying they felt he was a possible threat to students. Some said they did not feel like they had the whole story. 

Now some parents say they feel more comfortable with Joe in custody. 

Heather Montie spoke to ABC 17 News crews while waiting to pick up her daughter from Gentry Middle School. 

"I feel great knowing he's in custody," Montie said. 

She said Joe has no reason to be on school property, and the video of him at Gentry looks like an attempted abduction. 

Jennifer Ellison said it blew her mind when police released Joe last week. 

"People can't really be trusted these days and that's sad," she said. 

Ellison, along with several other parents, said they spoke to their children about not accepting things from strangers, and how the Gentry Middle School Student did the right thing. 

Joe has a $10,000 cash-only bond and is not allowed on any Columbia Public Schools campuses as a condition of his bond. He remained in the Boone County Jail on Wednesday.

He is also on probation through the Missouri Department of Corrections Probation and Parole for forgery and possession of a controlled substance. Joe also has a revoked license. 

A court appearance has not been set.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information on the Boone County Sheriff's Department's jail roster indicated Joe would have an initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon. However, court officials said he was not on the afternoon docket.


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