More Details Emerge About Calaveras High Lockdown
San Andreas, CA – After a disturbing incident that triggered a brief lockdown, sheriff’s officials are lauding efforts proactively taken to protect local students.
As reported here, Calaveras County sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Greg Stark told Clarke Broadcasting on Monday that deputies were involved in a foot chase towards Calaveras High around 11:20 a.m., which after being tipped off, quickly went into emergency “shelter in place” mode for about a half-hour.
On Tuesday, Stark provided more details about the incident that resulted in the arrest of 52-year-old Darren Dowling of San Andreas about 30 yards from the high school campus.
Filling in the story in the aftermath, Stark shares, “The Sheriff’s Office dispatched two deputies to a report of a male loitering on the property of the San Andreas Elementary School while school was in session…witnesses reported the male was holding and waving a survey stick like a weapon.”
A Standoff Between Headstones
While the deputies attempted to engage Dowling near the end of Cemetery Avenue he took off into the graveyard and attempted to conceal himself behind some headstones. Stark says the deputies continued trying to communicate but he refused to follow their orders and was still armed with the metal object.
“The elementary school [administrators] saw what was happening…they noted the suspect’s travel was headed towards the high school — and notified them that there was a police action heading their way,” Stark states, adding that high school officials promptly enacted the “shelter in place” protocol without any prompting from law enforcement.
More deputies arrived to assist Stark says. “He was extremely physically resistant. He tried to kick, bite and strike the deputies. He had to be forced into the vehicle for transport…once at the Calaveras County Jail, correctional officers and deputies had to forcibly remove him from the vehicle and place him into a solo cell where he could be evaluated.”
According to Stark, the suspect was not in a state where blood could be drawn for tests and that he remained in jail until he could cooperate with the booking process after which, some ten hours later, he was cited and released. He was charged with two counts of physically resisting arrest, two counts of battery on a peace officer, disrupting a school, loitering where children are present and damaging a patrol vehicle.
Stark notes that the Sheriff’s Office is thankful to all the involved school employees for their quick actions from the initial reporting of the suspicious activity to contacting the high school and enacting the proactive lockdown. “It just shows that they take it that ‘public safety is everybody’s responsibility’ and don’t hesitate to put the safety of the students first.”