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Student pulls knife on his classmate

Pedro – A 14-year-old Rock Hill student faces possible expulsion and time at the Dennis J.

Thursday, December 16, 1999

Pedro – A 14-year-old Rock Hill student faces possible expulsion and time at the Dennis J. Boll Group and Shelter Home after he pulled a knife on a fellow student Wednesday morning.

The Rock Hill Middle School boy will answer charges of delinquent juvenile by felonious assault and conveyance of a deadly weapon on school property today in Lawrence County Juvenile Court.

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputies reported no injuries in the incident, which occurred shortly before 8 a.m. on a Rock Hill district shuttle bus to the middle school, police reports said.

"It was apparently an altercation over a seating arrangement on the shuttle bus," said Carol Kitts, sheriff’s department detective. "The suspect told the victim to move from his seat, and when the boy refused, the suspect put a pocket knife blade to the boy’s throat."

Police reports said witnesses heard the suspect threaten the victim, who was seated next to another boy on the bus, when the victim refused to move from the seat.

"He pulled out the pocket knife and held it to the boy’s throat and said, according to witnesses, ‘Move or I’ll make you move,’" Ms. Kitts said. "Apparently, the victim did change seats and the suspect put the knife in his pocket and sat down."

Deputy Todd C. Easterling and Sgt. Quincy Milem responded to the call and interviewed witnesses, including the bus driver, Jack Pemberton.

"Pemberton reported the incident to the bus teacher on duty, who then notified the principal, Reggie Arden," Ms. Kitts said. "Mr. Arden notified the sheriff’s department, detained the suspected student and collected the knife."

Arden also notified district superintendent Lloyd Evans.

"Mr. Arden talked with me concerning the situation Wednesday morning," said Evans, who added he had several meetings concerning the incident throughout Wednesday. "I have not yet received all the documentation as to what, precisely, took place."

Once school officials receive and review all accounts of the altercation, Evans said an expulsion hearing will take place.

"We will be setting up an expulsion hearing to review all the facts and determine the school’s disciplinary action," Evans said. "The parents of the student and school administration (will be) there. They will discuss all the facts and then the superintendent will make the decision."

Meanwhile, the suspected juvenile awaits an audience with county juvenile court Judge David Payne. Juvenile court officials refused to discuss the maximum penalty possibilities for a case of this nature.

This is not the first incident of hostility between students at Rock Hill that has involved a weapon of some kind this year, although the first incident did not involve a direct physical attack.

In February, a 15-year-old Rock Hill High School student was charged with carrying a weapon onto school property. The teenager admitted to principal Steve Lambert that he brought a Taurus PT 22 and a knife to school, and subsequent searches of the student’s locker revealed pictures of guns, pornography books and a list of items to do that day, which started with studying for a test and ended with "threaten to kill (a fellow student’s) parents if they say or do one more thing," according to sheriff’s department reports. The student was expelled from school for one year.