Violent and combative man forces Hemet school lock down
HEMET — An alert parent and quick reacting school resource officer are being credited with defusing a volatile situation and ensuring the safety of students at Hemet’s Little Lake Elementary this morning, Thursday, Feb. 7. Today’s disturbance caused a teacher to issue a brief lock down, which was later lifted, allowing the campus to return to its normal daily activities.
According to sheriff’s officials, the “minor disruption,” that ended with one man in protective custody, involved a mentally unstable person who reportedly became combative with the school resource officer, even as students were still arriving at the campus for the day.
Today’s incident was the second involving a Hemet school in as many days, after a 13-year-old boy was run down by a woman who then fled the scene. The juvenile, who was hospitalized with moderate injuries and is expected to make a full recovery, was walking to Acacia Middle School – located less than two miles from the school where today’s incident happened. Officials are still searching for the hit and run driver, who left the bleeding and injured boy in the roadway.
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Riverside County Sheriff’s Hemet Station deputies rushed to help with the potential crisis around 8 a.m., after the school’s resource officer responded to reports of a shirtless man causing a disturbance at the school.
While the deputy was making contact with the man, described by officials as “a transient who suffered from mental health issues,” the person “became combative,” sheriff’s officials later explained. The deputy put out a priority request for emergency assistance, which soon brought deputies flooding into the area with lights flashing and sirens blaring.
“A parent who witnessed the incident notified a teacher, who then issued the lock down,” said officials.
The school was immediately placed on lock down and with assistance from other responding deputies, the school resource officer managed to take the combative and violent man into custody.
Once the transient was safely detained, firefighters and paramedics were summoned to the scene. However, it was not immediately known if any deputies or the combative man were injured during the violent confrontation, which was witnessed by many parents, students, and teachers.
The subject was ultimately transported to a hospital “for a mental health evaluation,” said RSO. Once the man was transported from the area, “the school resource officer was able to lift the lock down and the school resumed their normal activities.”
Reports and rumors spread on social media that indicated the incident involved a man with a gun proved false, as the man was not found to be armed with a weapon at the time of the altercation and man’s apprehension.
“This incident could have escalated and gone in a very different direction if not for the quick response of the school officials and the parents that witnessed the incident and warned the school,” RSO later explained. “We would like to commend Little Lake Elementary School for their quick response in issuing a lock down of the site within seconds of the incident.”
“Great Job to our deputies as well,” RSO continued, “Who were able to gain control of the subject without further incident.”
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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.