Friday, May 25, 2018
Public safety

Police: Man yelled expletives, wouldn't leave preschool

ST. PETERSBURG — A homeless man was arrested early Wednesday after police said he refused to leave a preschool's property and scared children playing outside.

Christopher J. Kolk, 38 — whose lengthy criminal record includes arrests on battery, weapon and drug charges in Pinellas County — came to the North East Park Preschool at 3737 First St. NE before 9 a.m. and asked for shoes, St. Petersburg police said.

A school employee told Kolk to come back Saturday, when the connected church provides clothing to the needy, officers said. She could not get shoes for him without a key.

Kolk then "became verbally abusive to the staff inside," according to an arrest affidavit. He sat next to the school's playground, cursing at the employee and scaring the children, police said.

"We are a locked-down facility," said Ashley Coker, the preschool's assistant director, adding that the incident shouldn't concern parents. "It was not that disruptive. But he did not want to leave, and I could not have him on my property."

Coker and another witness called police, officers said, and Kolk was arrested after walking to a nearby Publix and shouting more expletives.

He faces a charge of disorderly conduct and remained in the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $250.

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