Intruder Attacks Brainerd High School Staff Member Before The School Day Starts
Before the bell rang for first period at Brainerd High School this morning, a 36-year-old female Brainerd staff member was doing her job in the locker room, when suddenly she was grabbed from behind.
“The original description was that he was wearing all black or dark clothing,” Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston said.
The staff member fought back against her attacker, freeing herself, and started yelling for help.
“We’re really fortunate that she fought off this person, and that she wasn’t hurt more than she is,” McQuiston said.
Once the intruder no longer had control of the situation, he started fleeing the scene, and a witness recognized the alleged attacker as 20-year-old Jared Allen Tristen McCormick. The Brainerd Police Department was contacted at 6:48 this morning, and McCormick was under arrest about 15 minutes later. Authorities apprehended him as he was walking down the street about three quarters of a mile away from the school. McCormick is believed to be a former student at Brainerd High School, but it’s unknown if he had any relationship with the victim.
The Brainerd High School main entrance is the only door that is unlocked during the school day, but in between the time when custodians arrive until school starts, most of the doors into the building are open.
“We have many people that come in and use the weight room, many people that come in and use the swimming pool,” Laine Larson, Brainerd Public Schools Superintendent, said. “There’s all kinds of activities that are being offered along with sports practices.”
The district has already had a meeting following the incident, and some security changes are being made before the school day starts.
“We made a few changes starting immediately,” Larson said. “The locker rooms are going to be locked until a certified person that can be there to supervise has access to those lockers. We are also asking everyone that if they do come in to work out in the weight room, or use the swimming pool, to always have a partner and use the buddy system.”
Superintendent Larson also said the school is doing their own investigation to prevent this from happening in the future, and the school is just happy that the victim is okay.
“We’re just so thankful that are staff member is okay, and we’re going to do everything that we can to support her, and to increase the safety and security for all of our students and staff,” Larson said. “One of the things that we really pride ourselves on is that we are a family here, and that we take care of each other. When one of our family members is hurt, it’s very hard on everyone.”
The victim, whose name is being withheld at this time, was left with only minor injuries.
The alleged intruder, Jared McCormick, is currently being held at the Crow Wing County Jail awaiting formal charges.