AZ dad threatens ‘citizen’s arrest’ of school principal because she quarantined his son, and gets arrested himself
The father of a child that was sent home for quarantine was arrested after he threatened a “citizen’s arrest” of a school principal and refused to leave the school.
Mesquite Elementary School principal Diane Vargo was accosted by the father and two other men on Thursday, one of whom recorded the altercation and posted it on Instagram.
“So we’re gonna confront them, tell them they’re breaking the law, and if they don’t comply with the law, we’re gonna call the sheriff, and ask for them to get arrested, if necessary, we’ll do a citizens’ arrest,” said one man on the Instagram video.
“Because these people who are supposed to be public servants can’t just take the law into their own hands and think they can step all over parental rights,” he explained.
The three men argued with the principal in her office for several minutes while live-streaming on Instagram and demanded that she allow the child to go to school.
“You are not allowed to quarantine students that aren’t sick,” said one man to the principal in the video. “If you insist in this we will call and have you arrested. We are willing to make a citizen’s arrest if necessary.”
Vargo argued that she was following the state’s law on social distancing but they accused her of ignoring the will of the people.
A spokesperson for Tucson Police Department said that the group left the school before they arrived but that the father of the student was later arrested for trespassing on school property.
The man was identified as 40-year-old Rishi Rambaran by police who released him after issuing a citation.
Officials said the principal was not harmed in the incident.
In a video statement to KVOA-TV on Facebook, Vargo said that she felt violated by the altercation.
“I felt violated that they were in my office, claiming that I was breaking the law, and that they were going to arrest me in these military grade large zip-ties,” said Vargo who teared up during her statement.
“And these large men in my office, two of the men weren’t parents at our school, and so I felt threatened,” she added. “I felt scared.”
Vargo said that she was only following the protocols from Pima County Health Department. She added that the district is going to pursue charges for the other two men who were with the parent.