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Published on April 22nd, 2013 | by Daniel Perlman


Charges sought against Yuma senator accused of confronting teacher in class

Yuma police have finished their investigation into accusations against state Sen. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, for allegedly barging into his teenage grandson’s classroom and confronting the teacher, and are requesting the report be forwarded to the city prosecutor’s office for review for possible charges.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Leanne Worthen said Thursday that her department is recommending that four misdemeanor charges be filed against Shooter: assault, interference or disruption of an educational institution, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

The assault charge didn’t involve actual contact but is being requested because the teacher said she was fearful.

Worthen cautioned, however, that just because the report has been sent to the city prosecutor’s office, it doesn’t mean charges will automatically be filed. She explained that the city prosecutor may decline prosecution based upon the information in the report, send it back for more investigation or file charges different than the ones being recommended.

According to a Yuma police report, Shooter went to the Yuma Private Industry Council’s EOC Charter High School, 3810 W. 16th St., at about 9:30 a.m. March 22 and insisted to a front desk employee that he be allowed to talk to his grandson’s teacher.

The school employee told Shooter that the teacher was teaching at the moment and he would have to make an appointment, the police report states.

At that time, the phone rang and while the school employee was distracted, Shooter reportedly walked past the front desk, down the hallway and into the teacher’s classroom.

Once in the classroom, he reportedly confronted the teacher, allegedly putting his finger in her face. Witnesses described Shooter as being “visibly angry.” The teacher reportedly started video recording with her phone and asked him to leave the class.

School officials then walked into the classroom and interrupted Shooter, telling him he had to leave. A student also stood up and asked him to leave.

Shooter allegedly left the classroom and followed one of the school officials to her office, where she reportedly calmed him down.

The senator indicated he was not happy with the instruction his grandson was receiving, the report says. “He stated to me that the way she was teaching was not appropriate and his grandson deserved better,” according to a witness statement.

According to a verbal statement conveyed to the Yuma Sun by an administrative assistant, “Sen. Don Shooter, as a grandfather, went to his grandson’s school to discuss several incidents of alleged bullying by a teacher. Since that time, he has spoken to the principal, and both parties are working to help his grandson.”

The police report says Shooter later called the Charter School Association to make it aware of the incident. A representative of the association called the school and offered “assistance in resolving the situation quietly and between the school and Mr. Shooter.”

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Source: “Charges sought against Yuma senator accused of confronting teacher in class,” April 22, 2013.

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