BY MIKE FUHRMAN

At least two people involved in disrupting an Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education meeting on Monday night — and possibly several others — will face criminal charges for their role in the incident.

Troutman Town Manager Ron Wyatt said on Tuesday that the Troutman Police Department is reviewing video evidence and evaluating witness statements taken in the aftermath of the incident at the Career Academy & Technical School to determine who will be charged and the severity of the charges they face.

The most likely charges are misdemeanor injury to public property, misdemeanor communicating threats and inciting a riot, Wyatt said. The incitement charge could be a felony or misdemeanor.

More than 200 people gathered outside the boardroom where the I-SS board and staff were meeting after they were prevented from entering because all of the seats were occupied. Fewer members of the public than normal were allowed inside the boardroom because officials made sure all of the seats were six feet apart in compliance with CDC protocols for indoor public meetings.

Wyatt, who handled a media inquiry on Tuesday because the acting police chief was unavailable, said the two individuals who broke a window — using their hands and a Bible — have been identified.

The ruckus caused outside by the shouting and chanting of the crowd — which was comprised of people who were for face masks requirements and people who opposed masking mandates — disrupted the meeting and caused some I-SS staff members to become concerned about their personal safety, Wyatt said.

“Many of them seemed to be very fearful because they had n idea what was happening on the outside,” Wyatt said. “Some thought they were under attack.”

Meanwhile, the sound of the breaking glass seemed to embolden some members of the crowd. At that point, TPD officers told the crowd to disband and disperse.

There were four Troutman officers present at the meeting and one Iredell County Sheriff’s Offic deputy. Additional TPD personnel were also called to the scene.

Wyatt, who went to the scene to ensure he did not need to allocate more town resources or ask other agencies for help, praised the officers’ handling of the situation. In hindsight, the town manager said, officers could have required people to move away from the window that was broken. “But I am not faulting them or saying they did anything wrong,” he said.

The officers’ priority was preventing members of the crowd who were “jawjacking” from becoming assaulting each other and keeping emotions from further boiling over, Wyatt said. No injuries were reported.

Some of the protesters threatend to sue officers and the town. Others also complained that TPD officers were involved with mask compliance.

Wyatt said the TPD will provide additional officers for future I-SS board meetings if the school district requests.

11 thoughts on “Troutman police investigating actions of unruly crowd at I-SS Board meeting; at least two people will face criminal charges

  1. Matthew Nighswonger says:

    Ridiculous! I was there. This article is filled with mis-information and mis-representation. There were maybe 60 people gathered outside, not 200. The glass breaking was NOT criminal intent, but accidental. What’s criminal here, is the unconstitutional actions of publicly financed school “leaders” and school board members! They are hurting our children with silly rules (not laws) that do next to NOTHING for the health and safety of our children, but in many cases causes harm to them. This article is a disgrace! It’s writer(s) and publisher ought to be ashamed and FIRED immediately! Calling this a “riot”, and flat out lying about the numbers is laughable!

    Son of Liberty,
    Matthew Nighswonger

    • The crowd size estimate was provided by the town manager, who has spoken with investigating officers and is familiar with the evidence in the case, including the video evidence. At no point was the term “riot” used in this report aside from explaining a possible criminal charge. No one is ashamed and no one is getting fired.

      • Ty Mr. Fuhrman, please continue to provide a fair reporting of the information provided by the investigating agency. I applaud the Board for being proactive when positive cases have jumped from under 15 the first week to over 250+ now (week 3!), plus over 2000 quarantined for close contact!! If people would give the minimum amount of consideration for the children they are endangering by sending a symptomatic person to a SCHOOL, perhaps we wouldn’t have to tighten restrictions for all. Is it inconvenient? Maybe- but minimally invasive at best. Are we all tired of this pandemic? OF COURSE- but we CANNOT afford to gamble with our most precious gifts for the irritation of a few. I would never want to know that my stubbornness caused harm to a child, mine or yours- and I hope others can try to be patient when a hasty decision comes with such tragic results.

        Hope you all have a good week. Be blessed.

  2. The glass broken was accidental, he had a ring on and when he hit the door it shattered. The lady with the Bible had nothing to do with the shattered door! The officer inside did ask her to back off a couple of times, but she insisted that she wasn’t doing anything wrong (she wasn’t)! The people outside were loud but I never once got nervous about leaving……I think Martin Page needs to be removed as chairman; in my opinion he was rude. I respect Bill Howell and would like to hear more of how he feels about this mess. Children should not be muzzled!

    • If you call a mask to protect children against possible infection against a potentially deadly virus “a muzzle” then you have zero respect for medical science. My biggest problem is that there are board members who listen to people like you instead of medical professionals on the frontlines fighting this virus and caring for many ignorant people who refuse to take even the simplest steps to protect themselves.

  3. Wow. The choices one has to make. Save lives or let people die. Sometimes you have to make lemonade out of lemons. This is a very trying time and emotions run hot. To be in the position the board and superintendent are would not be a position I would envy.
    Most importantly they are doing their jobs. If one is not happy remember this is America and you have the right to voice your opinions and run for in the next election. The slope we are trying to stand on is slippery at best. If we endeavor to work together we can prevail. To quote (a country devided) Or. (Ask not what you can do) You finish the phrases and then reflect. Thank you.

  4. Please remove Martin Page as school board chairman. When will the citizens of Iredell learn he’s no good for the schools? He was my mechanic teacher at Statesville high. Omg, quit letting people run this city and school like it’s a good old boys club. This school board is a joke.

  5. I am glad to see criminal charges will be brought against those involved in this unnecessary act of violence and vandalism. Stop thinking about yourselves! How about thinking of others and their health for a change.

    WEAR THE DARN MASK!

    • Victoria Harris says:

      Why do you feel safer if your neighbor is made to wear a mask that your guru himself has said does not work, is not needed and doesn’t wear himself (except for select press conferences)?
      And why are you not demanding an explanation from the authorities about their failed vaccine “security”?
      Why do you continue to listen to the people who continue to offer you misinformation, false hope & failed solutions?

      Think past your fear. Think.

  6. Victoria Harris says:

    I find it interesting that people so boldly speak of proving your love for others by wearing a mask (even piously referring to Scriptural mandates), but fail to call for public prayers to Almighty God for reprieve.

    One is politically acceptable; the other, not
    Wake up, People.

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