A Florida man is facing several charges after police said he arrived at a West Palm Beach middle school with a loaded gun after receiving a call from his crying son, who claimed a teacher had assaulted him.
The frightening incident forced Bear Lakes Middle School to be put on lockdown, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Authorities arrested 27-year-old Christopher Freeman on Monday, charging him with aggravated assault, disturbing the peace and possessing a weapon on school policy. The doting dad admittedly lost his cool after his son video called him in tears saying a teacher had “slammed him,” he told the Palm Beach County School District police.
Before their video call ended, Freeman said he saw an adult grab the boy. That’s when he he hurried over to the school, forgetting he had an AK-47-like pistol tucked in his pants.
A police officer spoke with Freeman, who uses a wheelchair, when he arrived at the school just before 4 p.m. The cop reported seeing what looked to be the handle of a gun sticking out of Freeman’s pants, prompting a lockdown of the campus. The Palm Beach reported that an administrator who spoke to the father on the phone on his way over had warned a school officer that Freeman was very upset.
“I want to see the guy who slammed my son,” Freeman reportedly said. “I got something for him. “You’re going to need more than what you’ve got because of what I’ve got.”
With the school locked down, the officer called for backup after Freeman resisted efforts to be searched. Police later found an AK-47 pistol Mini Draco, fully loaded with 30 rounds and one bullet in the chamber.
Freeman told police he only keeps the gun on him for protection and had no intention of hurting anyone at the school. In a phone call to parents, Bear Lakes Principal Kirk Howell emphasized “the parent never brandished the gun or threatened the office staff with it at any time.”
Court records show Freeman is already facing facing weapons- and drug-related charges stemming from a February 2018 traffic stop. At that time, he informed Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies that he had guns, for which he had permits, in his vehicle. That case is set for trial in May.
Freeman remains detained Palm Beach County Jail on a $75,000 bond, according to jail records. Upon his release, he’ll be on in-house arrest and is barred from visiting any Palm Beach County schools.