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A Shrewsbury Township man who was spotted with an air rifle behind Shrewsbury Elementary School about a year ago will avoid prison if he abides by special conditions imposed by the court.

Now 19, Jack Frobenius was 18 years old when he was arrested by Southern Regional Police for having a weapon on school property.

He told police he was using the air rifle — which looked like an actual rifle — to hunt squirrels.

"I think his actions were caught up in a unique moment in American history when everyone was extremely sensitive to the potential of school violence," defense attorney Chris Ferro said.

Frobenius was spotted on school property Feb. 5, 2018, and was arraigned 11 days later on charges including the misdemeanor of possessing a weapon on school property and summary citations for trespassing on school grounds and disorderly conduct.

The Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 dead at Stoneman Douglas High School happened Feb. 14, 2018. That's the school violence to which Ferro is referring.

"The good news is, calmer heads have now prevailed," Ferro said, referring to prosecutors.

Frobenius pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 26, to two counts of third-degree misdemeanor disorderly conduct — but that guilty plea is conditional, according to his attorney.

He must comply with all conditions of his supervision, continue with mental-health treatment and graduate from high school, Ferro said. Frobenius also is banned from all Southern York County School District property.

If he abides by those conditions, his remaining charges will be dismissed at his Aug. 21 sentencing hearing and he will receive a probationary sentence, Ferro confirmed.

"He's getting some needed help and should be able to move forward with a bright future," the attorney said.

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The background: Southern Regional Police Chief Jim Boddington has said the elementary school's principal spotted Frobenius on property behind the school and that Frobenius fled into woods when he was spotted.

Responding officers contained Frobenious to the 10- or 15-acre woods almost immediately, the chief said.

With the school on lockdown, officers searched for Frobenius and found him about 45 minutes later, hiding in thick brush, without the gun.

The chief said the gun was later found and that it was a spring-operated pellet rifle that looked like a real rifle.

Frobenius told police he was hunting squirrels but didn't have a small-game license, according to Boddington.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission cited Frobenius for violating state hunting rules and for unlawfully hunting in a safety zone, but the summary citations were later withdrawn.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

 

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