26-year-old man rides school bus to Stafford High, attempts to steal cafeteria food: sheriff's office

A 26-year-old man was taken into custody Thursday after he reportedly rode the bus to a Stafford County high school and tried to steal food from the cafeteria. 

According to the Stafford Sheriff's Office, School Resource Officer Melinda Warnick was patrolling the cafeteria at Stafford High School when she learned the man had stolen a bakery item. 

After an investigation, deputies learned the man was not a student at the high school, even though he was able to ride the school bus to the school that morning. 

FOX 5's Anne Cutler has learned the man rode the bus alongside actual students for nearly six miles after being picked up on Lansberry Park Drive in Fredericksburg. He was reportedly barefoot and had no backpack with him.

The Dunstan family, who lives nearby, are among those in disbelief. 

“It’s pretty terrifying," said Emily Dunstan. “The bus driver knows them all, so it’s really strange to me that this 26-year-old got on a bus and rode it to school. It’s kinda crazy.”

Police describe the man as "young-looking" and a "mental health subject." 

The sheriff's office says the man was transported to Mary Washington Hospital for a mental health evaluation after he was taken into custody. He is not facing any charges.

On Friday the school sent a letter to the parents saying, in part: 

"[The man] did not have a weapon and made no threatening comments or actions to students and staff. It is important to note that the entire incident was handled swiftly. Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner has asked staff for a thorough review and recommendations for any security changes. It is obvious that something has to change in our procedures and implemented immediately."