Police hunting a suspect who regularly defecated in public on the grounds of a US high school have charged a top education official.

Staff at Holmdel High School in New Jersey reported finding human faeces “on a daily basis” near its athletics track and football field, authorities said.

Thomas Tramaglini, 42, was detained following an early morning run at the school’s athletic facilities on Monday.

Staff had been monitoring the area to identify the culprit, Holmdel Township Police Department said.

Tramaglini, who reportedly lives about three miles from the high school, has been charged with public defecation, lewdness and littering.

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He is superintendent of schools in the nearby district of Kenilworth, reportedly earning nearly $150,000 (£110,000) per year as head of the local education authority.

In a statement, Kenilworth Public Schools said: “Given the nature of those charges, he asked for and was granted a paid leave of absence.”

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