A man has been arrested in connection with an incident at a girls’ high school basketball game in Corona, California, where he allegedly punched several female athletes and brandished a firearm.
During a game between the Centennial High School Huskies and Santiago High School Sharks on Jan. 24, players began shoving each other after a scrum for the ball led to a foul call.
Then, police say, a man came down from the stands and punched several of the female athletes on the court. The man injured three girls, who were 16 and 17 years old, and the game was subsequently suspended in the fourth quarter.
But that wasn’t the worst of it, as the Corona Police Department said in a statement.
“As the suspect left the gymnasium, witnesses heard him mention he was getting a gun,” the statement read. “The suspect walked to the parking lot and retrieved a handgun from his vehicle. While in the parking lot, the suspect pointed the handgun at several students and threatened to shoot them. The suspect fled the area just before officers arrived at the school.”
Police made an arrest of 39-year-old Thaddis Brooks of Perris, California, on Feb. 2.
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“While in the parking lot, the suspect pointed his handgun at several more female students and threatened to shoot them,” Corona Police Sgt. Jason Waldon told The Los Angeles Times via email. The girls were ages 13 to 17.
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 “animal cruelty factors” were present due to the residence’s conditions.
“Brooks was arrested at his residence for the following crimes: 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 county jail, and detectives wrote and were approved a bail enhancement of $350,000.”
Brooks has a criminal past, as the Los Angeles Times points out several felony convictions.
In 2006, Brooks pleaded guilty to causing serious bodily injury. He also pled 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.
Corona-Norco Unified School District also released a statement regarding the incident.
“This incident was extremely upsetting and we want to make it clear that CNUSD does not stand for any behavior that threatens the safety of our students, staff, or community,” 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 athletic events including increased law enforcement and staff presence, metal detectors, no reentry, and bags being subject to search.
“We thank the Corona Police Department for their partnership and diligence in thoroughly investigating this incident.”
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