Police enter elementary classroom where parent was holding teacher hostage, ending hours long standoff

Police officers on Tuesday evening swarmed a Riverside elementary school classroom where a parent had taken a teacher hostage, ending an hours-long standoff between the man and crisis negotiators.

The teacher, who was not named, was taken to a hospital for a precautionary evaluation, Riverside Unified spokesman Justin Grayson said.

The incident began shortly before 11:15 a.m. when the male parent forced his way past staff in the main office at Castle View Elementary School in Riverside, Grayson said. It’s unclear if the man was armed, but witnesses did not report seeing any weapons.

For hours, the door to a room was blocked with the parent and a female teacher inside, said Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback.

When the parent arrived on campus, he got into a confrontation with a teacher, Railsback said. The parent did not appear to follow the school district’s safety procedures and check in with the front desk, he added.

The parent was confronted by a male teacher and the parent hit that teacher in the face, Railsback said. A witness told KABC that the teacher’s face was bloodied and his nose was broken. The teacher was treated at a nearby hospital, police said.

The parent then went into a classroom and took a female teacher hostage, police said.

Smoke was briefly seen coming out of the room, but Railsback said he didn’t have any information about the smoke. It did not appear to be toxic, he said.

Police evacuated all students from the campus and began releasing them to their parents after 1 p.m. All students were accounted for, Grayson said.


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6:10 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect that the standoff has ended.

6:05 p.m. This article was updated throughout.

3:30 p.m.: This article was updated with details about the beginning of the incident.

2:20 p.m.: This article was updated with information on student releases.

1:40 p.m.: This article was updated with details about the hostage.

1:15 p.m.: This article was updated with details about the campus evacuation.

This article was originally published at 12:55 p.m.


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