SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Police in San Jose on Wednesday arrested a middle school teacher in connection with a February robbery and found him in possession of a firearm at the school where he worked when he was taken into custody.
Police said that the suspect, 35-year-old San Jose resident Charles So, was arrested on the campus of Chaboya Middle School located at 3276 Cortona Drive in San Jose in connection with a strong-arm robbery that happened on February 21 of this year.
So is employed by the school as a full-time teacher, police said. When he was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, officers found So was in possession of a loaded handgun in a satchel that he had in his classroom.
Parents at the school were upset at the news.
“You hear about it happening elsewhere. You just don’t think it’s gonna be happening in your school,” said one parent KPIX 5 spoke with who did not want to show her face on camera.
She said So was her 8th grader’s language arts teacher.
“He’s gonna have a very difficult time explaining why he had a loaded firearm in a classroom,” said San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia.
So was arrested for a February 21 incident where San Jose police officers responded to a call for help at 88 S. 4th Street in San Jose at around 2 p.m.
Initial investigation revealed that a road rage incident had led to a strong-arm robbery where the suspect battered the adult male victim at a parking garage near San Jose City Hall and forcibly took the victims cell phone.
An investigation by detectives eventually lead police to identify So as the suspect in the case, leading detectives to obtain a warrant for his arrest that was executed on Wednesday.
School officials were understandably shaken by the news of the gun being brought onto campus by a teacher.
“We’re appalled. It’s disgraceful that any teacher would think that’s an appropriate thing to do,” said Evergreen School District spokesman Charles Crosby.
Crosby said So was a new hire at Chaboya and had passed background and fingerprint checks.
“It’s alarming to us that this is something that wouldn’t have been flagged and not picked up in a background check,” said Crosby.
Parents say the district needs to be held accountable.
“Someone failed. Someone dropped the ball on this,” a Chaboya parent told KPIX 5.
So will be booked into the Santa Clara County Jail for felony robbery and possession of a firearm at a school, which is also a felony.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Ray Vaughn of the San Jose Police Department’s Robbery Unit at 408-277-4166.
Persons wishing to remain anonymous may either call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line, (408) 947-STOP (7867), or click the “Submit a Tip” on the San Jose Police Department website. Anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers.