FAIRMONT — No one was harmed on Tuesday when a registered sex offender walked onto Fairmont High School property with what the Sheriff’s Office identified as a box-cutter, a school spokesperson said.
Purcell Leach, 51, was disarmed by School Resource Officer Terry Odum when he entered school property at about 3 p.m., said Tasha Oxendine, public relations officer for the Public Schools of Robeson County.
“I commend … Terry Odum who acted swiftly to disarm and apprehend the man that came onto our campus at dismissal time on Tuesday afternoon,” Principal Kent Prater said in a statement released by the school system. “I would also like to recognize the FHS staff for their quick response as well as they worked to ensure that all students and staff were safe.”
Leach, of South Griffin Street, Fairmont, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and removed from the campus.
According to Maj. Anthony Thompson, chief of detectives with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, Leach has a son who attends the school. The box-cutter was found when a “disturbance” between Leach and his son broke out in the student parking lot, Thompson said.
Leach was jailed under an $8,000 bond on charges of taking a weapon on campus, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and entering school property as a sexual offender.
Leach was convicted about a year ago on felony assault charges and was put on probation, according to the state Department of Public Safety. He was also convicted on the same date of sexual battery of a person 18 or older and registered as a sexual predator, according to the state Department of Justice.