Bizar re! Int r uder ar rested in school
In one of the more bizarre incidents ever investigated by Rockdale police, a 23-year-old Thorndale man was arrested Friday morning inside a Rockdale Element ary School classroom, after a breakin at the school cafeteria.
Police said Aron Gonzales told them he believed he was being pursued from his motel room, two blocks away at the Budget Inn, and shattered a glass window in the school to escape his pursuers.
He had previously jumped out a bathroom window in his motel room, police said.
No children were in the school when the 6:20 a.m. incident occurred, but cafeteria workers were on the job, preparing breakfast.
Police said they were surprised and shocked when a man burst in through the window.
The cafeteria workers called 911.
ARREST—Ofc. Steven Cooper, DPS Cpl. David Yarbrough and Precinct 3 Constable Herbie Vaughan responded to the school, found a man hiding in a closet and arrested him.
“He had actually gone down to a classroom and hidden in the closet,” Lt. J. D. Newlin said.
Newlin said blood, and shattered glass, was found at the point of entry. Gonzales was taken to Richards Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.
“He told us that people were after him and that he jumped out the bathroom window of his motel room to get away from them,” Newlin said.
“Then he ran down the street, still trying to get away, saw the school and broke in, still in an attempt to get away from his pursuers,” Newlin said.
Police returned to the motel room, found evidence that the suspect had, indeed, been there and had jumped out the window, but did not find any evidence that any other person had been present.
“We don’t believe there was ever any pursuit,” Newlin said. “In fact, while the officers were arresting him in the classroom he pointed, told the officers there were the people who were after him and asked why they didn’t arrest them,” Newlin said.
“ There was nobody there,” Newlin said.
After his release from the hospital, Gonzales was charged with criminal mischief ($50 t0 $500) and criminal trespass.
He remains in the county jail in lieu of $4,000 bond.
‘ NO DA NGE R’— P a m Kaufmann, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said students were served breakfast in the school gym, while the cafeteria was cleaned up.
She said students were “never in any danger” and classes continued as usual.
Police agreed, noting that students never came in contact with the subject or the damage.