Police arrest man for Medford school trespass

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BY ELLEN YAN

ellen.yan@newsday.com

A man walking near a Patchogue school Friday was arrested for trespassing the day before on the roof of a Medford school as children attended after-school activities, Suffolk police said.

Edward Weiss, 51, of North Patchogue, wore the same clothes two days in a row, and that gave him away to a school security guard who had viewed video footage of the Thursday incident at Tremont Elementary School in Medford, police said.

Security guard John Darby was off school grounds when he noticed Weiss was across the street from Canaan Elementary School in Patchogue, said Sgt. William Doherty of the Fifth Precinct.

Weiss was arrested by patrol officers, who had stepped up surveillance of the Patchogue-Medford School District on Friday. He was held overnight to be arraigned Saturday on a third-degree criminal trespass charge.

Surveillance footage doesn't show how Weiss got up on Tremont's roof, Doherty said.

"We believe he actually entered the school through a window in the boiler room and worked his way up," he said.

In the footage, Weiss appeared to be "foraging" for food outside the building as he lifted metal bins used to deliver milk and bread, Doherty said.

A custodian alerted a security guard about 5:30 p.m., and moments later the trespasser was on the roof but ran off when confronted, police said.

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The children were ushered into a secure area, with one officer watching over them, as others mounted a search that extended outside the school and stretched into Friday, Doherty said.

He said Weiss told officers he saw the roof as a temporary place to stay. "He was having domestic problems and he was looking to stay warm," Doherty said.

Efforts to reach district officials were unsuccessful Friday night.

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