A convicted sex offender was arrested after getting on a school bus filled with St. Paul elementary students.
St. Paul police officers were called to the 1500 block of Huron Street around 1:15 p.m. last Thursday, Feb. 28, on a report of an unauthorized man on a school bus that was parked in front of Chelsea Heights Elementary School.
Inside the bus was a 61-year-old Minneapolis man who claimed he'd got on the wrong bus after visiting the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where students from the elementary school were also visiting.
Police learned that the man is a registered sex offender, so they arrested him for a registration violation.
St. Paul Public Schools issued a statement saying the bus driver "immediately called dispatch to alert police" and that "students were under the supervision of school staff at all times."
The school statement added: "St. Paul Public Schools is conducting its own investigation to learn more about what happened and to strengthen our bus safety procedures. SSPS has also informed its school bus contractors about the incident to reinforce our required safety protocols.
"The school is in regular communication with families affected by this situation."
2011 incidents in Minneapolis, Apple Valley
Court documents show that the man was arrested in 2011 and charged with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct following an incident on a school bus in Minneapolis.
The criminal complaint states that on Mar. 17, 2011, he sneaked onto a school bus at 42nd Street and Cedar Ave. S. by carrying a backpack and pulling a hoodie over his head.
Elementary students under the age of 16 were picked up at additional stops, and at 41st Street and Longfellow Ave., the man exited the bus and fled on foot.
Students were interviewed and a girl told investigators that a "grown up" was rocking back and forth in his seat, and it was later determined a liquid substance left in his seat and on the floor was semen.
A DNA sample taken matched the profile of the man in the Minnesota Convicted Offender database.
Police alerted surrounding agencies about their investigation, and Apple Valley PD reported back saying it was investigating the same man for a sex act on a school bus.
BMTN typically does not name people who have been arrested for alleged crimes until they've been charged.