Two Modesto youth, 13- and 15-year-old males, were arrested Tuesday night after threatening a school janitor with a gun after he refused to let them into a room at Fairview Elementary earlier in the evening, police said Wednesday.
A third eluded capture during a 2 1/2 -hour manhunt that included the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and air support from the California Highway Patrol.
“Three juveniles approached the school and talked to a janitor, asking to be let into a room,” said Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves. “When he denied them access, one brandished a gun and made some threats about shooting him and yelled some gang slurs.”
The suspects fled into an adjacent orchard or field, she said. No shots were fired and no one was injured.
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The two suspects arrested refused to cooperate with officers, to the point of not even giving their names, Graves said. A weapon has not been recovered, but “it sounds like one of the ones arrested was the one wielding the gun at the time,” she said. The janitor was able to identify the boys, though when they confronted him, they were using shirts or some other garments to mask the lower half of their faces, Graves said.
The two have been booked on charges of making criminal threats, brandishing a firearm, conspiracy and possession of a gun at a school.
There was to have been a dance at Fairview on Tuesday night, but students had not begun to arrive at the time of the crime, and the event was called off. Only school employees were on campus, Graves said.
The school is on West Whitmore Avenue just east of Carpenter Road.