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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Parent arrested after taking gun to Pulaski Heights Elementary School

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

click to enlarge ZYPHRIA DERRICK WATTS
  • ZYPHRIA DERRICK WATTS
Parents at the Pulaski Heights elementary and middle schools got a telephone alert this morning that a parent was arrested for taking a handgun to an assembly at the elementary school (not middle school as I originally wrote). Another parent saw the gun and reported it to a school security officer who notified the police. The man was arrested without incident. He reportedly apologized to the principal, saying he'd just been hunting.

Here's the police incident report.  It says Zyprhia Watts, 39, had a .40-caliber Glock in his overalls. Police also took rounds of ammunition. The report said Watts was a convicted felon and wanted on several warrants ranging from failure to appear on a traffic charge to a federal drug charge. Little Rock police charged him with two gun possession charges and federal agents were supposed to take charge of him for a federal court appearance. he was in the county jail Thursday evening.

Here's the School District report:

Good Afternoon, Parents:

This is Pamela Smith, Communications Director for the Little Rock School District, calling you on behalf of Lilly Carter, principal at Pulaski Heights Elementary School, and Dr. Suzanne Ross, principal at Pulaski Heights Middle School.

This morning around 8:20, a parent who came to attend an assembly at the elementary school, brought a handgun onto campus which is against school policy and a violation of the law. Thankfully, another alert parent noticed the weapon in the parent’s back pocket and immediately brought it to the attention of our Safety and Security Officer. The Safety and Security Officer followed school protocol and notified the Little Rock Police Department School Resource Officer assigned to the middle school next door.

The School Resource Officer arrested the parent without incident. While in police custody, the parent expressed his apologies to Mrs. Carter and said that he had just returned from a hunting trip. He was transported to the Little Rock Police Department for further processing.

The children attending the assembly were unaware of the incident. While we regret this unfortunate occurrence, we are thankful to the alert parent who called it to our attention and the responsive Safety and Security Officer who immediately followed safety and security protocol to avert any potential problems.

We want to assure our parents that it is our commitment to maintain a safe environment for all of our students, staff and parents. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the principals at the respective campuses.

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