New Castle News

Schools

March 14, 2013

Police: Man under influence took knife to school

NEW CASTLE — A man accused of driving to a school with a knife to pick up a child is facing charges.

James Arnold Caszatt, 36, of 197 Hyland Lane, New Bedford, also was determined to have been under the influence of narcotics, and is not the father of the child he was picking up, according to Pulaski Township police.

A security officer alerted police around 2:20 p.m. Feb. 13 that Caszatt was at Pulaski Elementary School to pick up a child he had claimed was his neighbor, because the child’s mother was shopping.

The security officer told police Caszatt had hit the curb twice with his maroon van.

Police said Caszatt was wearing a 9-inch survival knife with a 5-inch blade on his belt and had a container of six hydrocodone pills in his pocket.

Police charged Caszatt Tuesday in the court of District Judge Scott McGrath, after receiving his blood test results that reportedly were positive for driving under the influence.

As a result of the incident, police said, the Wilmington school district sent Caszatt a letter saying he is not allowed on any school district property as he does not have any children who attend classes there and he had showed up while under the influence, carrying a weapon.

A school employee told police Caszatt had been stumbling around at the school that day when he got out of the van.

The arresting officer said he had found Caszatt putting a Head Start student into the front seat. He advised Caszatt he is prohibited from having a knife on school grounds, and Caszatt said he had forgotten he had it on him, according to records.

The officer said he confiscated the knife and told Caszatt the child is too young to be riding in the front seat or in a booster seat.

Caszatt removed the child and put her in a car seat in the back of the van, the officer reported.

However, police ordered the child taken out of the vehicle and the student was escorted back into the school to wait for a parent.

Police said Caszatt failed a sobriety test. He submitted to a chemical blood test and a state trooper conducted a drug evaluation and determined Caszatt was under the influence of a narcotic depressant to a degree that it impaired his driving ability, according to reports.

A doctor who had prescribed the pills told police Caszatt should not have had them after 30 days, they said.

Caszatt is charged with possession of a weapon on school property, two counts of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

McGrath has issued a warrant for his arrest.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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