Parent holding toy gun at school charged with resisting arrest | TCTA
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Parent holding toy gun at school charged with resisting arrest

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A parent was detained and charged with resisting arrest based on his conduct while visiting his daughter's school for an awards ceremony. The parent brought his two sons to the ceremony, one of whom had a toy gun in his possession. The parent put the toy gun in his left back pocket. Several staff members contacted the dean of students to report that there was a parent on campus with a gun. One teacher looked out a window onto the playground and observed a man playing with what appeared to be his children. He had a gun in his hand and was waving it around. The teacher believed the gun to be a toy; but she called administration to "check it out" and the school was placed on lockdown.

A school district police officer instructed the parent to stop and put his hands on the wall, but the parent did not comply. The officer instructed the parent to face the wall, whereupon the parent reached back, grabbed the gun out of his pocket, threw it on the ground and turned around. The officer drew his Taser and began to move toward the parent, who walked away from him. As the parent continued to walk away from the officer, two other officers approached and caught him. The parent began to "tussle" with the officers, pushing them off as they attempted to pat him down and secure his hands. Once the officers restrained the parent, the first officer retrieved the gun and determined that it was a toy. The parent sustained minor scratches during the altercation with police that did not require treatment.

The parent was charged with the misdemeanor offense of "resisting arrest, search, or transportation," which is an offense that occurs when a person "intentionally prevents or obstructs a person he knows is a peace officer from effecting an arrest, search or transportation of the actor or another by using force against the peace officer." In this case, the parent argued that his lower court conviction should be overturned because there was not enough evidence to show that his conduct was intentional. The court of appeals disagreed, finding that the parent acted intentionally when he disregarded the officers' commands and walked away from them, and upheld his conviction.