Armed with video camera, mother confronts suspicious man outside school

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MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. — He’s been outside a Washington elementary school taking video footage nearly every day for a month — causing parents to grow concerned.

According to mother Cari Korpi, “the school said they can’t do anything about it.”

So she did.

Armed with her own video camera, Korpi confronted him. Her encounter was later posted to YouTube and Facebook and subsequently picked up by local media.

In the video, Cari Korpi walks down the sidewalk toward the man, later identified by KOMO-TV as Dustin Girten. As she approaches Girten from behind, she explains to her viewers that he has been outside the school filming the students, buses and the traffic almost every day for nearly a month.

Upon seeing a camera aimed at his face, Girten puts his camera phone down and walks away, ignoring Korpi’s probing questions.

“What are you doing? Apparently you’ve been out here almost every day for a month filming our kids and the traffic and the school buses,” Korpi said following the man. “Why are you out here doing that because it’s a huge concern for me and my kids’ safety at this school if you’re going to be out there filming our children.”

Girten continues to walk away. At one point, it sounds as if he replies, “It’s none of your business.”

According to KOMO, school officials said Girten has children at the school and was banned from the property after using “abusive language.” School staff said Girten was angered by traffic congestion.

Tacoma School District Public Information Officer Kevin Patterson said school staff do not believe Girten to be a safety threat. Additionally, King County Sheriff Sgt. Cindy West told KOMO-TV Girten has the “right to be on public property” recording video if he wants to.

Korpi continues to provide updates via Facebook and says it is her hope that “to help [Girten] find a solution/resolution to the issue he has with the school and get him positively involved with our school. He obviously is very passionate about his views and with the right support can be beneficial to everyone.”

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  • Tara Davidson

    He might be attempting to document the traffic flows and whatnot… to plead some sort of case to be able to re-enter the school grounds for his children’s sake – after eating a bunch of crow-pie after his outburst on some very unfortunate day he was obviously having. (???)
    For all we know…. Right? That’s my first gut-instinct, anyhow.

  • Jackie

    In California, there is a law that parents have to sign to allow their child to be videoed or photographed on campus. Don’t know if it’s valid in WA state. If that law is valid in WA, every single one of those parents who signed the form saying it is NOT ok to take images of their child – or never returned the form saying it’s OK – has a right to sue the school and the district for allowing images to be taken without their permission.

  • Glenda

    With all due respect, Jackie. The school isn’t “allowing” it to happen. The man is doing it off their property. The school can’t do anything about that. No matter how creepy it seems.

  • Otise Jackson

    I agree Glenda, and I never heard of that law, once you leave your home anyone can video tape you it is done all the time. I think maybe this guy is a PI and someone is claiming their child are children is not being treated right at school. But if he has been doing it almost everyday for a month. And no one else has done anything maybe the Police knows about this.

  • todd hitchner

    everyone assumes he is a freak….gotta love how people jump to conclusions and LABEL people….do i think it’s odd? yes….do i think he needs to be kept an eye on? not sure but if he has been doing this for a month there seems to me to be something else to this….