Police spotted school bus threat suspect with a loaded gun before incident, documents show
In a case where a man
there have been multiple twists and turns.
One twist came when the man later arrested by APD, David Lee,
After looking at the man and comparing his likeness against the DMV photo circulated by police following the manhunt, the judge agreed, and put the court case on hold until the following day.
On Friday, the presiding judge, Michael Wolverton, said, “For the record, the identity was confirmed through live scan fingerprint card indicating there was a match.”
Now, documents show yet another twist in the story, where police say they actually spotted the man that morning and tried to arrest him, before the ramming and gun threat ever happened.
According to court documents obtained by Channel 2, earlier that morning, an officer with APD pulled up to a parked car in Muldoon. Inside that car, a man was asleep with a loaded semi-automatic pistol lying next to him.
The officer then tried to pull the car over, but the man inside woke up, and sped away, "weaving back and forth in and out of cars," documents allege. The pursuing officer then pulled over and asked for a case number. That's when the same car was reported, some distance away, "repeatedly ramming a school bus with five special needs students inside."
In addition to this, the documents paint a more full picture of the
According to the documents, the man, identified as a David Lee, did a U-turn down a cul-de-sac on Upland Drive. Behind the wheel of the same white Chevy Cavalier police spotted, Lee rammed into the front corner of a school bus picking up a Baxter Elementary student.
Lee was allegedly trying to drive past the bus, aiming at a narrow space between it and a van parked on the street. "There was not enough room" to make it through the gap, the document states.
Lee then backed up roughly 100 feet, and rammed the bus once more, this time going at full speed. The bus driver said he had "crazy eyes."
The documents state Lee then got out of the car, and pointed what the driver believed to be a gun at her, saying that he "knows what she looks like" and that he was "going to kill her." He allegedly tried to get on the bus, but was unable to.
The driver said she "was afraid Lee was going to shoot her and the kids."
At the same time that this was going on, a mother who lives across the street from the disturbance saw the commotion and came outside. She said she saw the suspect holding a blue cell phone in one hand, and a pistol in the other.
Despite this, documents say, she offered the man compassion during the pandemonium. She went outside, with her daughter, and spoke to him.
"She put her hand on his shoulder and asked if he was ok," the document said. Whether he answered the neighbor or not, the documents don't say, but next, he ran through her yard, jumped the fence to her back yard, and ran away.
What followed next was a flurry of alerts and communication between police and news media, with the word out that a man was armed and dangerous in Muldoon.
Eventually, a man matching the suspect's description was found in a white BMW SUV. Thanks to the judge, who said,
it was not clear that day if he was Lee or not.
Nevertheless, the man in the BMW was arrested. Due to a threat leveled against police at the time of his booking, he was not immediately finger printed.
He said he wouldn't comply with the identification process, after giving a false name, and threatened to "physically fight [police officers] if they tried to force him to provide [fingerprints]."
The man was eventually finger printed by Department of Corrections personnel, with Judge Wolverton confirming the match between his fingerprints, indicating that APD had arrested the right man.
"We were confident we had the right suspect in all the investigations," said APD's MJ Thim Friday afternoon. "Today, the court verified what we already knew."
"I can't speak for the judge," Thim said, "but I can speak for the department and say that APD got it right."