James Smith, 40, was arrested Tuesday afternoon when he tried to get a 15-year-old girl to leave the school with him, police said.
Smith has a police record and is a “lifetime registered sex offender,” said Police Lt. Bobby Lee, who also said Smith has a first-degree rape conviction.
Smith went into the school and contacted the girl at about 1:30 p.m., telling her he was her father and that her mother was in the car and she needed to go with him, Lee said.
“She was a very smart girl,” Lee said. “She took off running for the office.”
Another student at the school who was related to the suspect knew who he was, Lee said.
Muskogee Public Schools campus Police Chief Dan Hall said Smith was able to get into the school because he was accompanying his sister for a conference about the sister’s child.
Hall said Smith approached the 15-year-old girl as she was walking through the hall to class.
Hall said the school captured the incident on video and contacted Muskogee Police.
“We were able to obtain good video through the school,” Lee said.
Smith was contacted and agreed to go to the police station, where he was arrested, Lee said. Charges are expected to be filed Thursday, Lee said.
Smith remains in Muskogee County/City Detention Facility.
Hall said school policy says that only the parent or legal guardian who signs a child into the school is authorized to pick up the child.
“He (Smith) could not have been able to sign the girl out,” Hall said, adding that the man’s name was not on the approved list.
He said it is possible that the suspect might have known the girl’s mother before the girl was born.