Disturbance at school lands Sallisaw man in jail

A Sallisaw man has been charged with felony malicious injury to property and disturbing the peace after causing a disturbance on the grounds of Eastside Elementary School in Sallisaw.

Justin Thomas Roth, 30, was charged last Wednesday (May 2) in connection with the incident that occurred on April 23.

Sallisaw Officer LaLita Armer said in an affidavit she was requested at the pickup/drop-off line on the north side of Eastside Elementary in connection with a disturbance.

When she arrived, Armer said she talked with a mother who was “visibly upset” and was trying to explain an altercation that happened between her and Roth.

Armer said in an affidavit the incident occurred when both were arriving at the drop-off loop at the school. Viewing a security video, Armer said Roth was traveling south on Dogwood Street. The officer said when traffic reaches Creek Street from Dogwood there is a stop sign before pulling into the drop-off loop. The mother was approaching the drop-off loop from the east on Creek where traffic does not have a stop sign.

Roth was a passenger in a vehicle stopped three to four cars back from the stop sign at Dogwood and Creek, Armer said. In viewing the security video, Armer said Roth apparently becomes angry about the traffic he felt was cutting in front of them.

On the school's video, you can see Roth walking up to the stop sign at the same time the mother reaches the right hand turn into the drop-off loop, Armer said in her affidavit. According to the mother, Roth was blocking her lane of traffic and yelling at her, “scares her and she tries to drive around him.”

Armer said Roth argued that the mother looked him “straight in the eye and guns it hitting him with her vehicle.”

“The video clearly shows the mother slowly tries to maneuver around Roth and he continues to step in front of her attempting to block her lane of travel. When Roth's wife makes it through the intersection Roth walks into the drop-off loop and the mother continues behind her vehicle,” Armer said in the affidavit.

According to the report, in the video Roth approaches the mother two or three more times while in the drop-off loop before they go out of view.

Armer said it is not clear in the video, but Roth becomes angry and uses both fists and beats the top of the mother's vehicle hood, leaving dents in the hood. Armer said she believes this occurred when Roth alleges the mother attempted to run over him. Roth also denied he ever approached or spoke to the mother on school property.

When the mother reached the drop-off, she makes her son wait until Roth's vehicle is driven out of the drop-off loop before getting out because she is still scared, Armer's report said.

Armer said she later sees Roth returning to the school on foot and as he approaches her he is still agitated using his hands to point back at the mother leaving and “he is yelling at me, 'Why did you let her go?' 'Why didn't you arrest her?' I hold my hand up and tell Roth he has to calm down and I turn to redirect him away from the children unloading,” Armer said. “His actions and yelling is a big enough disruption and concern the teachers redirect the children's entry into the school to keep them away from Roth.”

Armer said she continued to walk Roth away from the pickup line. She said when they reached the corner of the school, she tried numerous times to explain to Roth that “he's being too hot-headed and needs to calm down because he is scaring staff and children and he refuses to listen and denies scaring anyone. Eastside Principal Chad Jasna also arrives and attempts to calm Roth down.”

Armer said Roth continued yelling and demanding to know why she didn't arrest the mother that tried to run over him. She said Roth told her he wouldn't fill out a report to her and would go to the police station, denying that the incident did not happen on school property, that it happened on the road. “I explain to him it continued onto school property,” she said in her report.

Roth then goes to the police department and has the same temper with the dispatcher and leaves there angry, Armer said. Later, Armer said she received a call from Jasna, who told her Roth had returned.

“When I arrive you can hear on my bodycam video Roth is complaining about the dispatchers sending me back because I called and told them to. Again. Myself and Mr. Jasna try to explain to Roth why what he did was wrong and all he wants to do is argue and never let either of us complete a sentence. He becomes angry and agitated and gets up to leave and Mr. Jasna requests him to leave out a side door so he won't be going through the school angry,” Armer said.

Armer said Officer Cody Biles followed Roth out to make sure he leaves the school property.

Armer said Jasna called her later to report he called Roth and told him he was banned from school property due to his behavior. Jasna reported Roth started yelling and cussing using the “F” word numerous times and requested Jasna meet him off school grounds.

“Mr. Jasna states to Roth this kind of behavior is exactly why he was being banned. Roth stated in the conversation he would find Mr. Jasna off school grounds. At this point Mr. Jasna ended the conversation,” Armer said in her report.

Roth is currently free on a $2,500 bond.

Sequoyah County Times

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