Two people were arrested Wednesday following a disturbance at Clinton High School, which reportedly escalated into an assault on a Clinton Police school resource officer (SRO) who tried to make an arrest.
The assault allegedly came at the hands of a teenage female student when Officer Roger Taylor tried to arrest a 24-year-old who authorities said “was not affiliated with the school,” according to police officials. Several marked and unmarked patrol cars with the Clinton Police Department and Sampson County Sheriff’s Office could be seen speeding in the direction of the school around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Clinton Police Chief Jay Tilley said that Taylor, the Clinton Police SRO assigned to Clinton High School, had responded to a disturbance in the school’s main office moments earlier. The SRO attempted to arrest Shaundarius Antoine Sinclair, 24, of 109 Jacobs St., Clinton, at which point a struggle ensued. A second suspect, Kadaysia JaLee Dawson, 17, reportedly of the same address, “assaulted the SRO while the SRO was trying to get Sinclair under control,” Tilley said.
Several officers responded and both suspects were subsequently taken into custody.
Police authorities said the school was reportedly dealing with the 17-year-old student’s “conduct at the basketball game Tuesday night” when the situation began to escalate and Taylor stepped in. No details were given but Clinton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount said the entire situation is being investigated further.
“School staff and law enforcement will continue to investigate disciplinary action,” Blount said.
Blount offered his gratitude to Taylor and the other law enforcement officers for their quick response to an ordeal he called “unfortunate.”
“It’s great that due to the quick work of SRO Taylor and other officers that none of our students and staff were hurt as a result of this incident,” Blount said. “I’m glad that situation was resolved as quickly as it was. That could have gotten pretty ugly if not for the quick response.”
Both suspects have been charged with disorderly conduct, assault on a government official, resist, delay and obstructing a law enforcement officer and damage to city property. The suspects were transported to the Sampson County Detention Center for a bond hearing with the magistrate. Bond amounts were not immediately available.
The alleged assault took place in the lobby, which is secured from the general student population. There were no reported injuries in the incident, Tilley noted. Blount noted the secured area, pointing out that it was part of school procedure just in case incidents like this arise.
“That’s all part of the society we live in and the reason we have that security. Today, it validated the need to have those precautions in place,” the superintendent said. “We have precious individuals in that building, both students and staff, and we take their safety very seriously. We will take whatever measures we can to make sure this situation does not happen again with these individuals and that our students and staff feel secure at all times.”
The Clinton Police Department’s Neighborhood Improvement Team is assisting the SRO in the criminal investigation.
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