A 17-year-old East Aurora High School junior was waiting for a mental health assessment at the Erie County Holding Center Tuesday, a day after being arrested for threatening to stab another student.
Two students intervened after seeing the teen with a paring knife during an English class study session Monday, said Lt. Jack Wolff of the East Aurora Police Department. One threw his backpack at the teen wielding the knife. When he was distracted, the second student put him in a headlock and brought him to the teacher’s attention.
By the time police arrived at 1:15 p.m., the student was in the principal’s office, Wolff said.
The teen had been aiming the blade at the neck and shoulder area of a seated student while the class was studying for a quiz, Wolff said.
The young man was charged with attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing. He refused to talk to police at the station, Wolff said.
“We don’t have a lot whole lot of answers,” he said. “We’re still investigating the motive.”
Superintendent Brian D. Russ issued a statement Tuesday evening saying: “The students and teacher present in the classroom at the time of this incident responded quickly to relieve the situation and no one was injured. The student who allegedly initiated the assault cooperated with being taken out of the classroom and was subsequently taken into police custody.
“We will be working with the family and law enforcement on the appropriate next steps in this matter to ensure the safety of everyone at the high school is protected.”
He said all students will participate in a forum Wednesday to review our district’s safety protocols and to emphasize the importance of reporting any situation that is perceived as potentially harmful to the personal safety of our school community. The district administration is taking this situation very seriously and we will not tolerate any inappropriate behaviors or actions that violate our district’s code of conduct.”