The school and Akron police have a partnership that payed off Wednesday afternoon


AKRON -- A Barberton man is behind bars after police say he sneaked into STEM Middle School in Akron, stole electronics and fondled a student.

The school and Akron police have a partnership that payed off Wednesday afternoon.

Police were on campus when they say 21-year-old Samson W. Peterson put the school in lockdown and some parents on edge.

"With all that's happening, you'd think things would be locked down a little better," said a concerned parent.

A few hours before school let out, police say Peterson was at the courthouse appearing on drug charges.

They say he crossed the street to the school and sneaked in just as a mail carrier was walking out the doors.

"We had University of Akron students in the building, and, when you look at the suspect, about 21 years old, had a laptop he stole from another building, he looked like maybe a university student," said Superintendent David Jones.

Police say Peterson stole the laptop, and two cameras.

They say he then lured a 12-year-old girl from a staircase to an empty classroom.

When she screamed, teachers and police rushed to help and arrest Peterson.

"We were just glad they were on site. I think if they weren't, it could have been a very different outcome," said Jones.

The superintendent says the district is reviewing its policies.

But some parents say they were confident that their children were in good hands all along.

"I knew that he was safe, that the school would do everything they needed to do to make sure students were safe," said one parent.

Peterson is no stranger to the law.

This is his sixth arrest.

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