Man charged with harassment, mischief over incident at Whitehorse school

RCMP responded to reports of a suspicious man recording video of students and staff at a downtown elementary school.

52-year-old David Nesbitt was arrested and charged late this week

Whitehorse Elementary School on Fourth Avenue and Black Street. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

A 52-year-old man has been charged with harassment and mischief following incidents at Whitehorse Elementary School.

David Nesbitt appeared in Yukon Territorial Court Thursday, for charges related to the Oct 14. incident.

According to RCMP, a suspicious man was reportedly seen outside the school around 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday. The man was filming over the fence, and witnesses believed he was recording videos of the school, students and staff.

Police say officers spoke with the man and he left the area. After further investigation, police learned about an earlier incident at the school on Oct. 14. Due to this new information, they found and arrested the man on Wednesday.

A security guard patrols the Whitehorse Elementary School property on Oct. 27. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

Nesbitt has been released on the condition that he stay 50 metres from Whitehorse Elementary. He cannot attend any schools, parks, playgrounds or pools in the territory. He is also barred from possessing a cellphone or any recording device.

The Department of Education hired a security guard to patrol the school in response to the incidents. The school was to be patrolled between 7 a.m. and 12 a.m. on weekdays, and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends.

Mike Woods is the assistant deputy minister of public schools at Yukon's Department of Education. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

"We're not really exactly sure how long he's been filming or to what extent he's been in the area," said Mike Woods, the assistant deputy minister of public schools.

"Whitehorse Elementary is a very busy school. From 7 in the morning to 11-12 at night, there are students, staff, user groups coming in and out," said Woods. "We thought we would err on the side of caution to ensure that there was someone available, just in case the individual came back."

It is not known whether the guard will continue to patrol the school following Nesbitt's arrest.