Seattle police say principal refuses to cooperate after school break-in

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(SEATTLE) – Police reports allege that a Seattle Elementary School Principal was uncooperative after a repeat offender broke into a classroom.

According to Seattle Police, the incident happened Thursday around 2:30 p.m. The school day was almost out when a man hopped the fence onto the Sand Point Elementary School campus.

Student Amani Powell-Rodriguez says she was on the playground and vividly remembers the moments that followed.

According to the fifth grader, the man came into her classroom twice. The first time he just looked around.

“Someone said to run, so everyone ran into the class,” said Powell-Rodriguez.

“Then he came back, but me and my friend were trying to close the door,” said Powell-Rodriguez. “He kind of looked confused and kind of worried, but he also kind of looked like he knew what he was doing.”

A report made by Seattle Police claims school officials never called 911, someone else reported there was a lockdown on campus.

Responding officer Nicholas Guzley Jr. claims when they arrived on scene, the principal was uncooperative.

“He provided very little information about the incident,” said Guzley Jr. “I was only advised the suspect jumped the fence.”

Guzley Jr. says the principal and two other teachers refused to speak with them.

“I had not been advised of any crime, so I contacted the suspect thinking I was performing a welfare check due to his mental state,” said Guzley Jr. “He appeared to be under the influence of narcotics or possibly having a mental episode.”

Authorities eventually identified the suspect as 20-year-old Liban Harsam of Seattle. Court records show Harsam is a repeat offender with a lengthy list of priors. Harsam has been charged nine times within the last year.

Reports say Harsam left school grounds with a child’s backpack in hand. Guzley Jr. wrote that the principal refused to identify which child Harsam had stolen it from, thus eliminating a victim in the case and destroying probable cause.

KIRO 7′s Lauren Donovan asked Seattle Public Schools for a response to these claims.

A spokesperson for the district wrote in an email:

“We have been in communication with Chief Diaz and the command staff at the north precinct. We have scheduled a debrief with SPD about this event and to determine how we can improve communications and coordination when SPD responds to calls at our school.”

Casey McNerthney, spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, says due to the lack of evidence, there will be no felony charges. Instead, the case was directed by Seattle Police to the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.

“Really, what it comes down to is what evidence we have from investigators,” said McNerthney. “From our conversations with SPD, there’s a question about what they were able to get after those initial conversations.”

The City Attorney’s Office has charged Harsam with five violations: criminal trespass, vehicle prowling, two counts of assault and resisting arrest.