Nearby Arrest Prompts Lockdown at PCY

Paradise Canyon Elementary School was locked down for about 15 minutes Monday morning as Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Deputies struggled to subdue a suspect who reportedly was sleeping in a stolen Prius near campus, according to Lt. Mark Slater.
Deputies responded at 8 a.m. to reports that a man was asleep in the car, blocking traffic at Gould Avenue and Paulette Place. The vehicle was reported stolen in Clairmont on Oct. 16, Slater said.
He also said that when two deputies arrived, the man — identified as a 22-year-old male of West Covina — initially was uncooperative, refusing their commands. When they tried to remove him from the car and handcuff him, the suspect began to resist and became combative, Slater said.
“Deputies deployed a taser that wasn’t as effective as they would’ve liked and the suspect continued struggling,” Slater said. “Eventually, they were able to pin the suspect against the car.”
The man was arrested and transported to the emergency room for evaluation, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Blasnek, who said the man did not appear to be injured. Deputies also were unhurt, he said.
The suspect was set to be arraigned Wednesday. Slater said he would be charged with at least possession of a stolen vehicle.
Blood tests will determine whether the suspect was under the influence of any sort of substance, Slater said.
He also said sheriff’s personnel called for the lockdown at PCY “out of an abundance of caution.”
“We were unsure what we had at that moment,” Slater said. “You never know nowadays, and anytime there’s some police action around a school it’s best to place the school on lockdown. You don’t know, maybe they’re going to have buses show up to go on a field trip.
“And it’s good for them to go through the drill and see if they can identify any improvements they may have to their lockdown procedure.”
PCY Principal Debra Cradduck agreed with Slater’s assessment.
“While we have emergency procedures established for a variety of situations, each situation presents an opportunity for us to refine our plans,” she wrote in an email Monday. “We will debrief with staff, consider the informal feedback shared by families, and adjust our emergency procedures as necessary.
“Today’s event, while unsettling, it does serve as a good reminder for us all to be prepared at any moment. I encourage all families to revisit their home emergency plans and make sure contact information at school is up-to-date.”
As soon as PCY staff was informed of the situation, they commenced emergency procedures for lockdowns, Cradduck said.
School starts at 8:10 a.m., so the incident occurred at the peak of morning drop-offs. As students arrived, Cradduck said, staff hurried them into the nearest classrooms or buildings. Many students were gathered in kindergarten, Child Education Center space and in the office — whichever area was closest as they arrived. Parents who had not yet dropped off their children were able to keep them in their cars until the all-clear was given at approximately 8:15 a.m. and a message indicating as much was sent to all families.
“Students and staff then proceeded to their classrooms, attendance was taken and regular school activities resumed,” Cradduck said. “We are grateful for the quick notification, response and resolution by the CV Sheriff’s Department to keep our students, parents and staff safe at school.”

Leave a Reply