Thomas: Schools Are Safe, On Alert After Traffic Stop With Weapons Cache

April 26, 2012

Escambia Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said Thursday morning that all Escambia County Schools will be on the alert today following a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon at the Alabama/Florida line in Flomaton. Two men were found with a cache of weapons and $8,400 cash, telling police that they were headed to Warrington Middle School Thursday morning to tutor students.

“There are no assemblies, no activities involving these individuals and no tutoring planned at Warrington Middle School or any other school today. It’s still FCAT testing,” Thomas said. “We will be stepping up our security and our awareness today to make sure today is a safe day in Escambia County Schools.”

The two men –  found in possession multiple handguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, multiple ammunition clips, tasers, handcuffs, brass knuckles and “suspicious” solid black clothing and hoodies — told officers from two states that they worked for a New Jersey educational tutoring company. The men were not charged with any crime.

For the complete story on the traffic stop and a photo gallery, click here.

When provided the name of that tutoring company to Thomas, he said the company is not contracted with the Escambia County School District to provide any services whatsoever.

“I know nothing about it,” he said. “You don’t just walk into school building and tutor students. There are complete background checks for anyone working on a school campus. And, of course, there are no firearms allowed on a school campus.”

Thomas said he believes the men may have mentioned Warrington Middle School when question by officers only because they had heard of the school before or knew someone that attends. “They might have just pulled it out of the hat,” he said.

“It will be a safe day in the Escambia County School District,”  Thomas repeated.

Pictured top: Weapons and cash found during a traffic stop in Flomaton, Ala., Wednesday afternoon. Pictured below: Officers from Alabama and Florida spent about two hours on their investigation. photos, click to enlarge.


14 Responses to “Thomas: Schools Are Safe, On Alert After Traffic Stop With Weapons Cache”

  1. Willis on April 26th, 2012 9:48 pm

    Please explain your comment. Where is the problem with how the situation was handled? Your comment has absolutely no merit! Possession of a controlled substance is against the law, the amount of a controlled substance also determines the severity of the charge or charges. What should these men have been arrested or detained for, the original moving traffic violation? It is not against the law to have any of the items that were reported to be in their possession at the time either traffic stop was conducted. There is no such thing as a gun registry, very few states restrict the carrying of a firearm in your vehicle. It is not unlawful to bring a firearm into Florida, it is not unlawful to carry $8400, etc.

  2. Actually on April 26th, 2012 10:46 am

    There is a Middle School track meet at Warrington Middle this afternoon. There will be three different middle schools there and any spectators that want to show up. I’m not sure if Mr. Thomas mis-spoke or if he just didn’t want to cause concern. As of now the track meet is still on.

  3. molino jim on April 26th, 2012 10:38 am

    @stockton mom– read the rest of the story. LEO did their job and could not come up with any PC to arrest. Give LEO a break.

  4. David Huie Green on April 26th, 2012 10:35 am

    “These guys should have never been let go until their story was verified. ”

    There is a grave danger in arresting people based on suspicion, especially when a specific crime isn’t suspected. it would get easier and easier to suspect you of some crime of which you are innocent but can’t prove your innocence.

    David for freedom, safety, caution
    and avoiding Warrington Middle, of course

  5. Ben Thar on April 26th, 2012 10:34 am

    Near as I can tell, the only crime is making false statements to law enforcement.

    Those appear to be some nice guns. I’d pack heat, too, if i was carrying all those crisp $100 bills.

  6. Lawson on April 26th, 2012 10:31 am

    These two obviously raised a red flag with LEO. I’m sure they checked everything out with a fine toothed comb. The bottom line is that if there is nothing to hold them on, you can’t hold them.

  7. Kelly on April 26th, 2012 10:29 am

    It kinda makes you wonder what exactly you have to do to be arrested in Escambia Cty. Now if they would have had drugs on them, they would be sitting in jail…okay, what is wrong with this picture?

  8. Thinker on April 26th, 2012 10:02 am

    I tend to agree this looks very suspicious and probably they should have been held longer. But you have to a reason to hold somebody. What was the rationale to search the vehicle? What in this story is NOT being told? How is that we call a few guns “an arsenal”. The black clothing suggests espionage or black ops or yes…crime. Will we ever know?

    This brings to mind stories from the sixties of the sale and display, in street-side house windows, of plastic marijuana plants, just to confront the anti-drug mania that still plagues the country. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it might be a robot duck. You think?

  9. stockton mom on April 26th, 2012 9:36 am

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! This is really CRAZY!!!!!! Here we have two strangers ( out of towners ) that say they are headed to school with what look likes a get away robbery from somewhere or either a deal coming together in another state. ONLY SAYING????? And they are let go without any other ?’s. OKAY…..Let’s ? how long one of us ( LOCALS ) set in the station and or on the side of the road for maybe forgetting to put correct paper work of ins. in the car. Seems like more and more our legal system of when to do the RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME are getting less and less effective….JUST SAYING…

  10. concerned on April 26th, 2012 9:23 am

    I would say that I’m not too concerned about the safety of the kids at school because how stupid could these guys be to actually mention schools if they were actually going to do harm at schools, but then again it is concerning that one of the guys was wearing a t-shirt with the tutoring agency logo and had business cards. These guys should have never been let go until their story was verified. These guys are obviously in a profession where the environment is hazardous to your health.

  11. a.b. on April 26th, 2012 9:11 am

    kim what is so scary about this, people carry guns on the gunrack of their Z71’s all the time…and they have money on their persons and thousands in the bank.

  12. Carolyn thomley on April 26th, 2012 9:07 am

    Good Job Mr. Thomas for staying on top of things like this. You have my respect and blessings for the job you are doing.

  13. me on April 26th, 2012 8:50 am

    They were not charged with a crime?????? Really!!!

  14. kim on April 26th, 2012 8:17 am

    It is scary that they had to let these guys go. Common sense tells us by the combination of items in their vehicle they are up to no good! I am uneasy sending my son to school today but I got to trust that the schools are taking precaution to protect them.

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