Jason Sowards

Man accused of breaking into Springfield charter school indicted

A man accused of breaking into a school is now facing felony charges.

Jason Sowards, 36, was indicted in Clark County Common Pleas Court on charges of breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools and vandalism. He previously pleaded not guilty to similar charges in Clark County Municipal Court.

Springfield police officers were called to Clark Preparatory Academy in Springfield on Feb. 10 for a breaking and entering report. The custodian noticed several classroom doors were open when she entered the school.

MORE: Health district: 2 die from Hep. A outbreak in Clark County

The report said she saw the man hiding underneath a desk, where he seemed to be out of it. When she saw him, she ran outside and called police, the report says.

A police report states officers believe the man used screwdrivers to open a window to the school and get inside. The man was still in the classroom when police arrived. The man told police he was homeless and was looking for a place to get warm, but officers believed he had other intentions, as a bag containing several pieces of school property was found in his possession.

MORE: Springfield man charged with robbing two gas stations overnight

“The bag contained school laptops, miscellaneous chargers and power cords, school projectors, school clothing, headphones belonging to students and internet power boxes belonging to the school,” the report states.

Part of the school’s flooring was also pulled up on the second floor.

Police also found a tin bucket, typically used to hold pencils, filled with the man’s urine and left on a teacher’s desk — although the man said he was going to empty it before he left the school.

Sowards is still in Clark County Jail on the charges. His bond was previously set at $35,000.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.