VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) — A transient accused of following a student into a high school classroom made his first court appearance Thursday morning.
Pini Nou, 34, is facing a charge of second-degree burglary. Other charges of trespassing, resisting arrest and disrupting school activities were forwarded to prosecutors for consideration.
During Nou’s brief court appearance, he told the Clark County judge he wanted to represent himself and made faces at a TV camera in the courtroom several times.
Court records indicate he is also in mental health court.
Nou is accused of following Ayla Stoops into a classroom at Columbia River High School on Wednesday.
Stoops, a senior, said she first noticed Nou on the sidewalk after she got off the bus.
“I didn’t think much of him because it was just like a man on the street smoking a cigarette,” she said.
Stoops was wearing earbuds and didn’t realize the man was following her until he walked into the classroom, which is located at the rear of the campus.
“All he does is walk around the table I’m sitting at,” said Stoops. “My teacher’s like, ‘hi, hello, who are you?’ He just kind of chuckles, finishes his circle around the table and leaves.”
The teacher notified school security. Clark County deputies also responded.
They arrested Nou in a backyard across the street from the school and said he was so combative, they had to use a Taser on him.
Additional security staff was at the high school Thursday morning as a precaution.
Employees and students were reminded to be aware of their surroundings and alert to strangers, said a spokeswoman for the Vancouver School District.
Stoops said she always feels safe on campus.
She wanted to clear up misconceptions and said Nou did not follow her through the front doors of the school or through hallways.