A Clopton High School student was arrested for making a terrorist threat on Friday, Jan. 11 for allegedly threatening to kill faculty and staff following a reported fight on campus, according to Pike County Circuit Court records.
James Paul Coleman, 17, of Clarksville, also allegedly struck a teacher during an altercation with another student, according to a probable cause statement from responding Sheriff’s Deputy Jody Blaylock.
Coleman later threatened to kill a coach at the school and recreate a shooting reminiscent of the recent Newtown, Conn. tragedy, court records showed.
A Clopton employee called the sheriff’s office at 10:52 a.m. to report a fight on the high school campus. On arrival, Blaylock said he found Coleman with Principal Larry Lagemann, Athletic Director Cary Bibb and Head Football Coach Lynn Nutt in Lagemann’s office.
The principal said Coleman was in a physical altercation with a 16-year-old male student and that it took “Bibb and Nutt and him to control Coleman,” Blaylock reported.
“When asked Coleman stated he had an anger problem and was mad,” at the other student, the principal reported to Blaylock.
“Lagemann stated Coleman made several comments that he was going to come back and kill everyone within the school,” Blaylock wrote. The principal also said Coleman made the comment “This will be just like the school shooting on TV.”
Lageman also told Blaylock that Coleman “has had anger issues in the past but never an outburst like this.” He also said Coleman told him he had “a .22 rifle under his bed and access to many other firearms.”
“Nutt stated Coleman made the comment to him ‘I will kill you. I will call my (relative) and he’ll murder everyone here, that’s what he went to jail for in the first place.’” Blaylock reported.
The other juvenile told Blaylock he was being “escorted by a friend out of the class room due to prior threats of violence from Coleman when he observed Coleman moving toward him.”
The 16-year-old then told the deputy “Coleman hit him in the head and then was pushed away.”
Agriculture teacher Keriann Friedrich told Blaylock “during the fight Coleman lunged at her trying to get to (the 16-year-old) and hit her. She was unclear how she was struck but remembered being hit. She was obviously still shaken when speaking.”
In the end, Blaylock wrote, “Coleman made a terrorist threat by threatening to kill the faculty and staff at Clopton High School.”
Coleman remained in the Pike County Jail on Tuesday, Jan. 17 for the felony terrorist threat count on a $25,000 cash-only bond. He was set to appear in Pike County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
Pike County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Fisher said he filed the felony count based on the alleged quotes from the scene.
Two counts of misdemeanor assault could follow for Coleman allegedly striking the other student and Friedrich, Fisher added.
Article courtesy of Louisiana Press-Journal.