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Police: Lowell sergeant charged with trespassing followed student into the building

A source tells 13 ON YOUR SIDE Scot VanSolkema was trespassing because he was looking for "Antifa signs."

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A police report obtained by 13 On Your Side is providing new details about a Lowell Police Department sergeant charged with trespassing on high school property.

Scot Vansolkema, 43, of Grand Rapids, has been with the Department for nearly 20 years. 

The police report says the trespassing incident happened on Aug. 24, 2021, at Forest Hills Central High School. The report explains how a group of protesters showed up at the school upset about the district's mask mandate for unvaccinated students. 

The District decided to allow the protesters on school property, but it was requested they stay near the front entrance, not bother students or use loud speakers, police said. According to the report, they were advised if they violated the request, a 'no trespass order' could be issued. 

Later in the day, Kent County Resource Officer Deputy James Svoboda said he stopped two groups walking around the school building. 

Svoboda says Sgt. Scot VanSolkema was walking with the second group. The Deputy says he talked with the protesters, but they disobeyed the initial request and continued to walk around the building. 

A few days later, on Sept. 2, 2021, Deputy Svoboda says he noticed VanSolkema inside the school and was told by administrators they were not aware of his presence. 

The Deputy says he asked VanSolkema if he had permission to be inside and he responded, "sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission." 

It's alleged he showed up to a classroom unannounced and was 'checking things out.'

According to the report, school surveillance video shows VanSolkema gained entrance into the building by following a student into the front office. The report says he then walked into the main portion of the school without checking in with office staff. 

Earlier this week, a source told 13 On Your Side VanSolkema went into the school suspecting he might find "Antifa signs." 

The police report says after he was caught, it was decided to issue a 'no trespass order.'

Months later, on Dec. 14, deputies said he entered school property again and allegedly drove his vehicle up onto the sidewalk of the school to bypass traffic waiting in line at the end of the school day. 

He received a civil infraction for careless driving.

The trespass charge is a misdemeanor, and he'll be arraigned in mid-March.

A spokesperson for the City of Lowell says the city is aware of the charges and the city has begun an internal investigation.

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