As left pushes to get rid of SROs, Bronx school safety agent called a hero for stopping knife attack on guidance counselor

Share:

NEW YORK, NY – An elementary school in the Bronx has two heroes who walk its halls, ready to spring into action to aid those in distress.

School safety agent Hector Garcia was stabbed in the head and fifth-grade teacher Jared Nash was slashed in the arm while defending a guidance counselor from an armed intruder just minutes before children were due to arrive Thursday morning.

 

No one knows just how bad it could have gotten had Garcia and Nash not been in the right place at the right time.

The NYPD said a man, later identified as 23-year-old Claudio Villar, stormed the entrance of PS 69, Journey Prep School, and began attacking his former girlfriend with a sharp weapon.

Garcia, 55, intervened and was stabbed near his left ear. Nash jumped into the struggle and suffered an injury to an arm.

Parents, administrators and even Mayor Eric Adams have called the actions heroic.

The attack began at 7:40 a.m. in the school at 560 Thieriot Ave., when Garcia heard a “commotion” come over his radio. Garcia went to help and saw the guidance counselor struggling with a man. He explained:

“I see the counselor. . .on the floor, crying. Then the teacher came by, Mr. Nash, and broke them up from fighting, then he started fighting with the perp.”

The man lashed out at Garcia when the 27-year veteran of the force tried to pull him off Nash. He recounted:

“He was infuriated. . .he wanted to kill somebody.”

As left pushes to get rid of SROs, Bronx school safety agent called a hero for stopping knife attack on guidance counselor
Claudio Villar is suspected of stabbing his ex-girlfriend at PS 69 in the Bronx. YouTube screenshot

Pointing first behind his ear, then to his neck, believing the attacker intended to go for his throat, he continued:

“When he aimed, I bent down and he caught me up here instead of here. I think he was trying to aim for the main artery.”

Garcia is convinced that the one, quick shift in his position saved his life, though it did leave him with a deep puncture wound behind his ear.

But, Garcia said, his first thought was not about his safety, it was about the students’. He told NBC New York:

“I call them my children, my kids. I thank God there was no children and little kids around.”

The suspect ran off, police said, and officers arrested him near the school shortly after the attack. He remains in police custody. A senior law enforcement official described the suspect as the former boyfriend of the counselor he allegedly attacked.

Nash was taken to the hospital for treatment of his arm injury.

Mark Rampersant, New York City’s school security chief, said Nash chased after the assailant as he ran out of the building. The suspect jumped into a vehicle and drove away, he said, adding:

“However, not before this amazing teacher got all of the particulars, the description as well as the make, model and license plate of the vehicle, helping the NYPD quickly apprehend this individual.”

Garcia, who said he spent 10 days in the hospital in 2020 with a serious bout of COVID-19, said:

“God saved me again.”

He said he still loves his job after more than two decades at the school but he worries about violence on school grounds. Garcia said:

“As time goes by, we notice that the violence has been going up.”

 

The attack on the counselor came less than a week after an honor student died and two other students were wounded in a drive-by shooting outside a Bronx high school. The latest incident has local safety advocates calling for more support.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said:

“This recent incident highlights why we need to have a full contingent of school safety agents. We are down at least 2,000 safety agents from where we should be. Today, we are grateful to the teacher and school safety agent at PS 69 for stepping in to protect their colleague and thankful that no one was more seriously injured.”

Local 237 Teamsters Union President Gregory Floyd agreed. Floyd demanded the mayor provide more school safety agents “now,” as did the N.Y.C. School Safety Coalition, a group comprised of parents, families, religious leaders and community leaders. Floyd asked:

“What will it take? Death? Mayor Adams: Hire more school agents now.”

The coalition said there have been 41 attacks on school safety agents so far this year, up 30% from the previous year, and also asked for more help.

Still, Garcia said he is happy he was there to help make sure no one got seriously hurt. He said:

“If I had to do it again, I’d do it again. To save somebody’s life.”

School let out Thursday afternoon and students started the Easter/Passover break grateful for the actions of Garcia and Nash. Student Cameron Sepulveda said:

“I would like to say a big thank you for keeping everyone in the school safe and out of danger.”

https://fundourpolice.com/

After explosion in student violence, city council that got rid of school resource officers brings them back

October 15, 2021

Editor’s note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police.” While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police.”

_

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Following a spate of violent incidents occurring at Alexandria City Public Schools, the city council narrowly voted to reallocate school resource officers at middle and high schools earlier in October – despite the same council having voted to remove officers from schools just five months earlier.

Following an hours’ long debate that stretched into the early morning hours of October 13th, the Alexandria City Council voted 4-3 in favor of restoring SROs in middle and high schools for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.

Much of what reignited the debate of SROs, after the council voted to have them removed from school five months earlier, came after a series of videos made the rounds online that depicted fights involving Alexandria middle and high school students.

The collective footage is disturbing.

On and around school grounds, Alexandria middle and high school students can be seen punching, kicking, and stomping their peers and adults – all captured on cellphone cameras. These recordings were shared all over social media and ultimately found their way to news outlets.

A violent attack in a school cafeteria was captured on camera, as was a parking lot fight with a group of kids kicking another student who was lying on the ground.

High school students assaulted a man inside a McDonald’s restaurant near Alexandria City High School in another incident captured on camera.

The video shows students engaging in a heated verbal confrontation with an adult male customer, which quickly escalated into students punching and kicking the guy in the face and head.

Jennifer Rohrbrand, a local parent in the community, said the following about the incidents depicted on video:

“When I watch these videos, I would say my reaction is shock, complete shock.”

Evelin Urrutia, the executive director of a local NPO, found the footage concerning – but somehow still feels that eliminating SROs from schools was the right choice because she feels that uniformed officers can intimidate minority students.

Damon Minnix, who is both an Alexandria Police officer and President of the Southern States Benevolent Association, says quite the opposite – noting that uniformed officers in schools serve as a valuable deterrent to violence and other crimes:

“Wherever you have a police officer, safety tends to follow.”

Superintendent of Schools Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. literally pleaded with the city council to bring back SROs in light of the violence impacting the schools in Alexandria:

“I’m pleading with the City Council this evening that we reinstate our school resource officers immediately.”

This past May, the city council voted to remove SROs and reallocate the $800,000 budget toward onboarding more mental health professionals for schools. However, despite the SROs having already been ousted at the onset of the 2021-2022 school year, no additional mental health counselors had even been hired.

The city council meeting that started on the evening of October 12th and ran for six hours into the early morning of October 13th saw rigorous debate between those conceding that SROs are needed and those claiming there is no correlation between violence in schools and the absence of SROs.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson found himself agreeing with parents that these concerns of violence are legitimate and grew tired with some members of the city council pushing back so hard against the idea of reinstating SROs in schools:

“I can’t think of a bigger waste of my time than what just happened for the last three hours. I thought we were going to have a productive conversation about how we move forward in our community on a problem. I don’t think we had that…This sucks. This is disastrous”

Despite the back and forth during the city council meeting, a consensus was reached to reimplement the SRO program for the remainder of the school year, with additional discussions to take place on what long term solutions will look like in future school years.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First
Share:
Submit a Correction
Related Posts