Man charged with sneaking into Forest Lake High School with knife

A man who managed to sneak into the Forest Lake Area High School on Tuesday morning, apparently carrying a knife, is now facing a criminal charge.

Forty-two-year-old Eric Ordell Johnson, of Forest Lake, is charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school property.

In a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, police say Johnson was able to sneak into the building as students were entering in the morning hours without catching suspicion from staff members.

According to the charges, security video shows him walking into a restroom after entering the school and leaving about 15 minutes later. Johnson was spotted by staff members as he was walking out and stopped.

In the bathroom, officers say they found items that they believe Johnson had left behind, including a fixed camo knife and sheath that had been tucked into a corner in a bathroom stall of the men's bathroom. Investigators say the knife fits a compass end cap that they found on Johnson after he was stopped outside the school.

In the bathroom, officers also found a uniform shirt that had "Melissa" on it, a pink T-shirt, and cut-up clothing. According to the charges, Johnson told police that "he thought he might have a knife on him, but could not remember what pocket."

The school issued a statement on Tuesday regarding the incident, saying the man did not approach any students during the incident.

"Our staff and administrators are reviewing our safety procedures and will remain vigilant for any unauthorized people on school grounds," wrote Principal Jim Caldwell in the message. "Student safety is always extremely important."

Johnson remained in Washington County Jail as of Wednesday.