One Arrested After Video Captures Half-Naked Man in School

Yahya Abdul Salaam

WINNSBORO – A Winnsboro man arrested last week on trespassing charges outside Home Movie Rental on Columbia Road had additional charges added to his name when investigators linked him to a March 12 surveillance video of a half-naked man inside Fairfield Middle School.

Yahya Abdul Salaam, 50, of Flora Circle, was arrested outside Home Movie Rental by Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies March 19. Salaam was seen by a surveillance camera pulling into the lot on a bicycle at approximately 11 p.m. When the camera went dead, the business owner notified the Sheriff’s Office and deputies arrested Salaam on trespassing charges.

It was Salaam’s bicycle, which the Sheriff’s Office said had a unique color pattern and style, that led investigators to take a closer look at surveillance video from a March 12 incident at Fairfield Middle School.

The Winnsboro Department of Public Safety responded to an alarm at the school just after midnight on March 12, but finding no sign of forced entry, cleared the scene. When School Resource Officers reviewed surveillance footage later that day, however, they saw an unidentified man inside the halls. The suspect was naked from the waist down, the Sheriff’s Office said, wearing only a sweatshirt on his torso. Additional footage showed the suspect leaving the school grounds on a bicycle, purple and sliver in color. Investigators were able to positively match the bicycle to the one Salaam had pedaled into the Home Movie Rental parking lot a week later.

With a link established, investigators acquired a search warrant to examine the contents of a bag Salaam was carrying with him at the time of his arrest. That bad contained a computer, a hand-written list of adult Web sites and several memory storage devices. One of those storage devices was found to contain what the Sheriff’s Office said were “several pornographic images of young females, some of which appeared to be younger than 10 years of age.” Salaam’s computer has been sent to the State Law Enforcement Division’s forensics lab for complete analysis, the Sheriff’s Office said. Salaam has since been hit with additional charges of second-degree burglary and second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor (possession of child pornography). The Sheriff’s Office said Salaam has also admitted to being the pants-less individual captured on video inside Fairfield Middle School, although he has admitted to no wrongdoing beyond breaking and entering. At press time, there was no evidence that Salaam tampered with any of the school’s computers, but the incident remains under investigation.

“The School District has been very cooperative with us during this investigation,” Fairfield County Sheriff’s Capt. Brad Douglas said. “Their IT people helped us out a great deal, and we’re very appreciative of that.”

At press time, Salaam was being held at the Fairfield County Detention Center.

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