POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – The school week started uneasily for the staff and students at Pocahontas High School.
Police arrested a 14-year-old student Monday morning after some of his classmates claimed that he was carrying a handgun on campus.
According to Police Chief Cecil Tackett, Pocahontas school officials called Randolph County Central Dispatch around 7:50 a.m. Monday and said they received information that a student brought a gun on the school bus.
"When we got there, the school officials had already found the suspect and had taken a metal replica-type non-working firearm," Chief Tackett said.
Chief Tackett says the gun turned out to be a toy, but looked dangerously similar to a .45-caliber handgun.
"What he had on him would have fooled me," the chief said. "It would have gotten him in some serious trouble if he had produced that weapon in front of an officer."
Police arrested the 14-year-old student, who now faces a possible felony charge of terroristic threatening as well as obstruction. Chief Tackett says the teenager had a juvenile record too and was possibly on probation.
It is unclear at this time when the student will appear in court.
"We're still checking that out," Chief Tackett said when asked why the boy brought the toy gun to school. "It's still under investigation."
School officials have now asked local police to help them step up security after this incident and two unrelated situations recently.
Daryl Blaxton, the superintendent of Pocahontas Public Schools, would like to assure parents about their children's safety. He hoped to achieve that by issuing the following statement: "The district, in collaboration with the local police department, will have law enforcement presence on and about its campuses from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily."
Chief Tackett stationed an officer Monday on the Pocahontas campus following the fake gun incident.
"There will be an officer with the city there [at the school] from now on until the end of the school term," he added.