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The Villages
Friday, October 15, 2021

Villager and second man arrested in encounters with police at local school

A Villager and a second man were arrested in two separate encounters with police at a local elementary school.

James Frederick Lewis
James Frederick Lewis

James Frederick Lewis, 63, of the Village of Silver Lake, is free on $5,000 bond following his May 13 arrest at The Villages Elementary of Lady Lake.

Lewis was at the school on Rolling Acres Road that afternoon “walking on the sidewalk in front of the school filming with his cellphone,” according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. Lewis began asking the principal of the school about making a public records request. Lewis was given the information and began filming with his cellphone again, the report said.

As a police officer was speaking with the principal, Lewis “walked up to us on school property and again was asking questions regarding public records for the school’s MSDS’s (material safety data sheets),” the officer wrote in the report. The principal “advised” Lewis again about the procedure when Lewis “began to raise his voice and became agitated” with the principal’s answers, the report said.

The principal asked Lewis to “leave the school property because he was causing a disruption/distraction to the parents and children in the school pick up line.” Lewis refused to leave, claiming “he had the right to be there,” the report said. He acknowledged to police that he did not have any children attending the school or any family that worked there.

Lewis was placed in handcuffs and arrested on a charge of trespassing.

“I was told multiple times by parents in the car line and ones that were walking to pick up their children that they were concerned for their safety and the students,” the officer wrote in the report.

Shawn Michael Berry
Shawn Michael Berry

Four days after Lewis’ arrest, 55-year-old Shawn Michael Berry of Belleview showed up at the school, wearing a reflective safety vest and with his cellphone on a tripod. He was recording the dismissal of the students, the school’s principal told police.

Berry was “mimicking the actions of a subject who was arrested the previous week at the same elementary school and posted the video on Youtube under the name ‘Rogue Nation,’” the officer wrote in the arrest report.

Berry was arrested on a charge of trespassing. He was booked at the Lake County Jail and released after posting $1,000 bond. His tripod, a microphone and cellphone were taken as evidence, the report said.

On Tuesday, Lewis pleaded not guilty in Lake County Court. A plea negotiation conference in the case is set for June 14. Berry is set for arraignment June 4 in Lake County Court.

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