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Merrimack Valley

October 23, 2008

Man snapping pictures outside school caught after foot chase

ANDOVER — A Wakefield man claimed he was standing outside a local school snapping photos of students for a documentary, but after a foot chase through backyards while stripping his clothing, police aren't buying his story.

"We don't know what his intention and purpose was around the school and the kids," said police Lt. James Hashem.

But Michael Olivio's employer has come forward to back up his story. Olivio, 48, works for the anti-gay rights group MassResistance.org. Brian Camenker, head of the group, said Olivio mistakenly went to West Middle School Tuesday to snap pictures instead of the high school.

Camenker said Olivio was to get pictures of the high school because the state Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgendered Youth held a meeting there Monday night.

"I figured I would do a write-up for the Web site and I wanted a picture of the high school," Camenker said.

Police said the incident happened at West Middle as children were being let out of school. As parents watched, Olivio parked his car, got out, and began taking many pictures of the school and the students.

Police received a flood of 911 calls from parents and soon the school called. A gym teacher tried to talk to Olivio, who fled toward the high school, police said.

Camenker said Olivio realized he was at the wrong school and jogged over to the high school to get the picture.

"I didn't even want any pictures of the kids,'' Camenker said.

He said Olivio did not recall hearing the gym teacher trying to talk to him.

When police caught him, Olivio said he was taking pictures for a documentary and he would not elaborate on it," Hashem said. Hashem said police could not associate him with any media organization.

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