GARY, Ind. (STMW) — Arrested inside a northwest Indiana high school for allegedly setting off fireworks after police banned him from the building, DeAngelo Rock appeared in court and said, “I am not a criminal.”
“Yes you are,” Gary City Court referee Itsia Rivera replied.
Rock, 18, was arrested Thursday after Cpl. Jeff Tatum and Cpl. Damon Bradshaw chased him up and down the stairs, through hallways, outside, then back inside Lew Wallace High School in Gary. He was charged with criminal trespass and resisting law enforcement, the Post-Tribune is reporting.
After reading the arrest report out loud, Rivera told Rock, “If it’s potentially true, you put a whole lot of folks at risk. It is not acceptable. You apparently have a history of not wanting to follow the rules or the law,” she said.
Rock was suspended from classes May 23 for fighting, but claimed he was not notified. He was inside the building on Thursday, he said, to retrieve his bicycle from a third-floor classroom.
Police told him to leave the building, but then received reports he was on the second floor lighting fireworks.
When Rivera asked Rock if he had prior arrests, he said, “As an adult?”
He said he had been charged as a juvenile for receiving stolen auto parts and later arrested for violating his probation.
Rock first said he didn’t know how to plead to the misdemeanor charges, then said guilty. But Rivera said she would enter a not guilty plea and assign a public defender to represent him at his Sept. 9 appearance.
In the meantime, Rivera ordered him to stay off school property and suggested he make other arrangements to continue his education.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)