Armed School Employee Prevents Man From Allegedly Kidnapping Juvenile Utah Girl

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The Epoch Times

An armed school employee at an elementary school in Utah prevented an alleged kidnapping on the school’s playground earlier this week, police said.

The incident happened at Lincoln Elementary School on Tuesday and involved a 41-year-old male suspect, identified as Ira Cox-Berry, the Ogden Police Department said in a press release.

Cox-Berry has been accused of trying to abduct an 11-year-old girl while she was on the playground. He allegedly walked up to the young girl and pulled her toward him, as if he was “intended to leave with her.”

The unidentified employee was nearby and saw the incident unfold, confronting Cox-Berry while demanding him to leave the area.

“Cox-Berry temporarily unhanded the student, allowing the employee time to usher the children into an adjacent classroom,” according to the police release.

After the employee managed to take the students to safety, the suspect went towards the classroom and began “punching” the window in an apparent attempt to force his way into the classroom.

“At that point, the employee produced a firearm, holding Cox-Berry off while simultaneously calling 911,” police said.

“The involved school employee is a Concealed Firearm Permit holder and was lawfully in possession of his gun when the incident occurred,” they added.

Responding officers arrived shortly after the call and managed to take the suspect into custody f0llowing a brief struggle. He was booked into the Weber County Jail and charged with one count of child kidnapping, a first-degree felony.

Authorities said the investigation is still ongoing but they currently haven’t identified a link between the victim and Cox-Berry.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican in his first term, signed a measure into law in February that allows people in the state to carry a concealed gun without a permit.


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