UPDATE: Man poses as student multiple times, attends class in Moab before threatening two girls

Local News
FRIDAY 10/15/2021 1:00 p.m.

MOAB, Utah (ABC4) – New details have been shared regarding a 19-year-old man who made multiple attempts to pose as a teenager at two different Grand County schools this week.

In a letter to staff, parents, and the community, Grand County School District Superintendent Taryn Kay outlined what happened between the schools and the man.

It started on Tuesday, Oct. 12, when the man – who Kay says “could easily pass as 14” – entered the Grand County High School before school started. At that time, the front doors were unlocked. The man entered the library and “mingled there with other students.” Before school started, he left through the front doors.

At 8:35 a.m., Kay says he returned with two other students. The attendance secretary at the office did not recognize him and when asked if he was a student, the man said he was while another said he was not. After speaking with a high school counselor, Kay says the man left.

After leaving the high school, the man walked to Margaret L. Hopkin Middle School. When a staff member saw him playing on the playground equipment, they escorted him to the office. There, the man said he was hungry and the office staff fed him. The man then said he was 14-years-old and expressed interest in attending the school. Because office staff thought he was a high school student, Kay says they called that school.

Staff at the high school told the middle school staff of what had happened earlier in the day. At that point, the middle school principal called police. According to Kay, police “indicated they knew who the young man was,” arrived at the school, and took him into custody.

The next day, Wednesday, the man saw a physical education class running on the track outside and started running with them. The teacher noticed the man and asked him to leave, which he did. That same afternoon, Kay says the man entered the high school with some other students before the last class of the day. The man went to one of their classes where the teacher thought he was a new student.

Kay explains the man stayed through the entire class and left at the end of the day with the rest of the students. While he did not threaten any students while in the school, Kay says he followed two sisters home and threatened them there.

According to arresting documents, which identify the man as Tu Ngo, the two girls believed Ngo was also walking him and “did not think anything of his following them.” When they arrived home, Ngo allegedly tried to enter the home. One of the sisters told him he was not welcome in the home.

As the girls went into the home, Ngo followed them and sat on their couch. One of the girls tells police she repeatedly asked him to leave but he remained in the home. At one point, Ngo allegedly “grabbed a knife and stared at it until he put it back away.” When one of the girls called their father, Ngo left.

“No information came to either the high school or district administration about the young man’s time on the high school campus on Wednesday, or the threats made to the two sisters until Thursday morning, Oct. 14,” the letter reads. At that point, Kay contacted police and requested their presence at both the high school and middle school to ensure the safety of the students. By 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, authorities had taken Ngo into custody near Moab Regional Hospital.

Kay’s letter concludes:

“Obviously GCSD administration is concerned that a student was able to attend a high school class posing as a GCHS student. A GCHS staff meeting was held this morning (Friday the 15th) before school to determine what went wrong and what needs to be done to ensure a similar situation doesn’t happen again. The GCHS leadership team and accreditation committees are identifying all processes and procedures that were lacking, changing them where appropriate, and then training all staff to ensure knowledge and compliance. GCSD administration and staff will use this unfortunate situation to improve and be better, and ensure that nothing like this happens again.”

Arresting documents show Ngo was taken into custody on two counts of criminal trespassing.

ORIGINAL STORY: Man tries posing as 15-year-old student at two Grand County schools taken into custody

FRIDAY 10/15/2021 7:01 a.m.

MOAB, Utah (ABC4) – A man was arrested in eastern Utah after trying to register as a student at both the middle and high schools this week.

The Grand County School District says the man, an unidentified 19-year-old, tried to pose as a 15-year-old student to attend their schools.

Police were called and the man was taken into custody.

“We appreciate our partnership with the Moab City Police Department and their efforts to help us ensure the safety of our students,” the Grand County School District says.

Additional details about the man have not been released.

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