Port Charlotte, FL – Jan. 26, 2023
A Port Charlotte High School teacher of thirty years observed two individuals walking across the baseball field from the west side of campus yesterday afternoon. The subjects approached the school gymnasium and were let inside by an unknown student. The staff member caught up to the individuals and followed them inside.
As the teacher approached, he noticed the males did not have PCHS school identification cards, which is considered suspicious since PCHS has a mandatory policy that every student must always have student identification cards visible around their necks. When questioned as to why they were on campus, they stated that they were teacher’s aides. When questioned further, the two males fled off campus heading west. The School Resource Officers and school administration were immediately notified of the situation.
The males were observed getting into a silver Toyota sedan that was parked at the corner of Collingswood Blvd and Cochran Blvd which sped past school administrators going east on Cochran Blvd. Deputy Anderson provided suspect and vehicle descriptions via radio. A Supervisor within the School Resource Unit, with assistance from Road Patrol in the area, were able to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle at the intersection of Cochran Blvd and Pellam Blvd. Deputy Anderson and Deputy Scott arrived on the scene and were able to positively identify the individuals as the suspects on campus. There were no weapons or other contraband found inside the vehicle.
18-year-old Denaidrick K. Cook and a 17-year-old juvenile, who will not be identified due to age, were questioned again on their reasoning for being on school grounds to which they advised they were there to see a friend. Both suspects from Cape Coral were searched and no weapons or contraband were located. Both individuals confessed to entering school grounds illegally and were placed under arrest for Trespassing on School Grounds and transported to the Charlotte County Jail.
I am extremely proud of the school staff member who was keeping watch over the school grounds, students, and staff and quickly took action. The fact that he was able to identify two individuals that don’t belong, out of hundreds that do, is admirable. I commend the school staff and administration, as well as my staff for working together to keep our kids safe.Sheriff Bill Prummell