A man has been arrested in connection with an incident at a high school girls’ basketball game in Corona, California, where he allegedly punched several athletes and brandished a firearm.
During a game between the Centennial High School Huskies and the Santiago High School Sharks on January 24, players began shoving each other after a scrum for the ball led to a foul.
Then, police say, a man came down from the stands and punched several of the athletes on the court. The man injured three girls, ages 16 and 17, and the game was later suspended in the fourth quarter.
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But that wasn’t the worst, as the Corona Police Department said in a statement.
«As the suspect left the gym, witnesses heard him mention that he was receiving a weapon.» the statement is read. “The suspect walked into the parking lot and recovered a handgun from his vehicle. While he was in the parking lot, the suspect pointed his gun at several students and threatened to shoot them. The suspect fled the area just before officers arrived at the school.»
Police arrested Thaddis Brooks, 39, of Perris, California, on February 2.
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“While in the parking lot, the suspect pointed his gun at several other students and threatened to shoot them,” said Corona Police Sgt. Jason Waldon told the Los Angeles Times via email. The girls were between 13 and 17 years old.
While no firearm was found after serving a search warrant at Brooks’ residence, officers found 40 dogs on the property, and City of Perris Animal Control Services believed there were «cruelty factors.» animal» due to the conditions of the residence.
«Brooks was arrested at his residence for the following offenses: criminal threats, brandishing a deadly weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm on school grounds, child abuse, and animal cruelty. Brooks was transported to the County Jail and Detectives wrote and were approved for a $350,000 bail enhancement.»
Brooks has a criminal past, as the Los Angeles Times notes several felony convictions.
In 2006, Brooks pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily injury. He also pleaded guilty to making criminal threats in 2009 and multiple drug possession charges on several occasions.
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The LA Times added that Brooks was «related to a player on one of the teams» from the basketball game.
The Corona-Norco Unified School District also issued a statement regarding the incident.
«This incident was extremely upsetting and we want to make it clear that CNUSD does not tolerate any behavior that threatens the safety of our students, staff or community,» said the statement read on Friday. «In the Corona-Norco Unified School District, safety is our top priority. We have affirmed our commitment to school and community safety by implementing additional safety measures at our indoor sporting events, including increased staff presence and law enforcement, metal detectors, no re-entry, and bags subject to search.
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«We thank the Corona Police Department for their cooperation and diligence in the thorough investigation of this incident.»