McNary High School

On Wednesday, Sept. 15 around 12 p.m. the Keizer Police Department (KPD) responded to a reported assault that took place at McNary High School.

According to KPD Public Information Officer Trevor Wenning, the suspect, a student from a Salem high school, came to the campus to confront a McNary student about disrespecting the suspect's girlfriend.

The suspect arrived on the McNary campus parking lot during lunch hour and assaulted the victim in the parking lot — the victim sustained minor injuries.

“It wasn't one of these things where you're standing up and getting into a fight, he came from behind him and attacked him,” McNary Principal Erik Jespersen said.

The incident was witnessed by campus security, who broke up the fight moments later.

“Within probably five seconds, one of our campus security folks was right on the spot and got things broken up,” Jespersen said.

The security team got the administration team on the radio to call 911. Staff members chased the suspect off school grounds and into the local neighborhoods off Chemawa Rd. where they lost sight of him. Police units responded to the area and searched several properties but were unsuccessful in finding the suspect.

“We had one person there with the student to make sure (the victim) was ok and then Keizer PD was called from the office,” Jespersen said.

Although the suspect initially escaped, McNary staff were able to identify the student after looking at security footage — McNary had new security cameras installed last year thanks to the 2018 Salem-Keizer bond project.

“The nice thing about our bond is that we have really good cameras, and we were able to see the event with video and with screenshots of the other student. Within about 30 to 45 minutes we knew who the student was and where they went to school, all the pertinent information. So we were able to share that with the admin team at the other school and Keizer PD,” Jespersen said. “He wasn't on our campus for more than 10 minutes, but it was pretty easy to figure out who the kid was.”

After patrol officers conducted interviews and the suspect was identified, the case was forwarded to the Marion County Juvenile Department for review and disposition. The victim did not want to pursue charges.

“I am extremely grateful for Keizer PD for their really quick response and their great partnership,” Jespersen said.

Matt Rawlings: [email protected]