Three Tucson men charged for trespassing after allegedly threatening a principal who enforced COVID precautions

More from this show

Three Tucson area men have been charged with trespassing after allegedly threatening to conduct a citizens’ arrest against the principal of Mesquite Elementary School in the town of Vail. The incident occurred after a student was told to quarantine due to possible COVID exposure. We talked about what happened with Vail Unified School District Superintendent, John Carruth.

What started this alleged threat?

“In response to required quarantine from the Pima County health department, a parent became very upset that their student was not going to be able to participate that day. They were deemed to be a close contact with another individual in that class who was COVID positive and needed to be quarantined per Pima County health guidelines,” Carruth said.

The parent later posted to a local coffee shop owner’s website and “pleaded with him to come help, stating that he was willing to go to jail over this,” Carruth said.

The parent arrived at the school with his son and two other men showed up shortly after. They came into the principal’s office where the father, the principal and the assistant principal were meeting. One of the men was carrying “heavy-duty, law-enforcement-like zip ties with a statement that ‘if the student wasn’t allowed to resume regular school activities, they were going to make a citizen’s arrest,” Carruth said.

What was said to the principal?

“They were generally upset. They felt that their quarantines were not legal to enforce those. Although we are under a direct order from the health department to enforce those quarantines when they deem it necessary,” Carruth said.

The principal remained calm throughout the confrontation and later stepped out of her office to call the school district who later called the police department to report the incident.

The incident was contained and learning continued due to “swift actions by the principal.” The whole confrontation lasted about 25-30 minutes.

All three men have been charged with trespassing.

John Carruth, Superintendent, Vail Unified School District

Sir David Attenborough, Wiltshire, UK, explains how Water Crowfoot, Ranunculus aquitilis, has floppy underwater stems that flex with the current.
airs July 6

The Green Planet

Sebastian Robins and Mona Haydar
aired July 5

The Great Muslim American Road Trip

Baratunde sitting criss-cross in the desert
aired July 5

America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston

Security forces block the entrance after the U.S. President Donald Trump's supporters breached the US Capitol security in Washington D.C., United States on January 06, 2021. Pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers were set to sign off Wednesday on President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory in what was supposed to be a routine process headed to Inauguration Day. Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
aired June 28

WATCH LIVE: Arizona PBS coverage of Jan. 6 Capitol riot hearings

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: