Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal
Several staff members at Kennedy Middle School were injured Tuesday when they tried to stop a renegade jogger, who happened to have a military warrant for his arrest, running on the track during lunch.
When an eighth-grade science teacher tried to stop him, Bradley Pfender, 37, allegedly shoved him to the ground and flipped him off before continuing on his run. It took the principal tackling him and a group of teachers helping to hold him down to stop him, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
Pfender, also known as Fender, now faces three counts of battery on school personnel, on top of a previous desertion from the military warrant, and was in the county jail Wednesday night. Jail records don’t specify which branch of the service Pfender allegedly deserted.
Science teacher Michael Parsons saw Pfender running on the school’s track around 1 p.m. during lunch, when about 200 students were on the field, according to statements to police.
Parsons tried to wave him down to ask him to leave – it’s against Albuquerque Public Schools policy for strangers to use school facilities while school is in session. But Pfender pointed to his headphones and kept jogging, Parsons said. Educational assistant Linda Kane-Parsons told police she also approached him, and he said, “(expletive) you, I’m finishing my run.”
Parsons put out his hands to try to stop him, and Pfender said, “If you (expletive) get in the way of my run I’m going to embarrass you in front of all these kids,” according to the police report.
Pfender shoved Parsons to the ground “with great force” before running toward the school’s basketball court, injuring Parsons’ chest, back, neck and legs. Pfender charged the principal, pointing his finger.
“I went low and took him down in the middle of our students,” principal Edward Bortot wrote in his statement to police. He was injured on his left hand and right knee. A third teacher, special education teacher Catherine Jaramillo, said a group of teachers were holding him down but Pfender told them he couldn’t breathe. When they tried to move him he allegedly hit her over her left eye.
Meanwhile, other staff members had moved the students into the school’s gym, and the school, located near Eubank and Lomas NE, went into lockdown, the report states.
The public must check in at the school’s front office before going on campus when school is in session, said APS spokesman Rigo Chavez . Furthermore, people aren’t allowed to use school facilities when school is in session.
But he said there’s not much security to enforce it.
Nobody constantly patrols the campus’s perimeter, so APS relies on staffers to say something if someone’s not supposed to be there. Chavez said that method usually works fine, though confrontations aren’t unheard of.
“That’s what we rely on, teachers and other staff members to enforce it,” Chavez said.
APS police was not on scene during the incident, and the school doesn’t currently have a school resource officer from APD. Chavez said there has been a shortage of resource officers, but that APS police patrol schools across the city.
“It’s not a jail or a secure facility,” Chavez said.
Pfender was booked into the county jail on $15,000 bail for the battery charges, and on a no bond hold for the federal charge.