The Columbia Police Department has concluded the investigation involving Kelvin Joe, 53, of Columbia. The investigation included reports of a suspicious individual approaching and speaking to adults and children at several locations in Columbia, including a report from a student at Gentry Middle School.
Below is a statement from Columbia Police Interim Chief Geoff Jones.
"The Columbia Police Department has completed the investigation. Some of the stories reported by media outlets and assumptions posted on social media suggest that a local student was being lured into a vehicle. The investigation has shown that this is false.
Statements were taken from both the suspect and witnesses. Investigators also viewed the surveillance video of the interaction provided by Columbia Public Schools. Information gathered confirms Kelvin Joe tried to give the student money by asking him to come to the passenger side of the car and when the student walked away the money was left in the parking lot. At no time did Joe attempt to have a student enter his vehicle.
Joe turned himself into the CPD lobby minutes after the press conference on Tuesday evening. He has cooperated fully and was charged based on the complete information gathered during the investigation. Joe was cited for Trespass in the 1st Degree and Driving While Revoked. As an added measure of security to protect the well-being of students, Joe was issued a no trespass warning, which prohibits him from being on Columbia Public School property.
CPD values our residents and their vigilance. We will always work to ensure the safety and well-being of our community."
Original Press Release(s)
CPD Interim Chief Jones to host press conference April 9 at 7 p.m. regarding suspicious individual at Gentry Middle School