Daniel Ryan Caudell, 45, was arrested Friday after he was seen with a gun, knife and alcohol on the Sprayberry High School campus, according to police.
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Multiple incidents bring cops to campus just as school year begins

Arrests at two Cobb high schools and a gun scare in DeKalb 

A Cobb County man was arrested after he was seen on a high school campus carrying a loaded .40-caliber Glock, a knife and a bottle of whiskey, according to police. 

Sprayberry High School went on lockdown for an hour Friday afternoon after Daniel Ryan Caudell, 45, was seen behind the school about 12:30 p.m., his arrest warrant says. Caudell’s address on Aleta Drive, as recorded by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, is about a mile from Sprayberry High School.

The arrest warrant says he showed a teacher items he was carrying, which included the handgun, two additional 15-round magazines, a knife and a bottle of whiskey, according to the arrest warrant. 

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Caudell was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and not licensed to carry the gun, the warrant says. He was arrested and charged with possession of weapon or explosive compound in or near a school, school function or school bus (a felony); and alcohol possession on school grounds (a misdemeanor).

It’s not clear why Caudell was on the Sprayberry campus. 

After spending the night in the Cobb County Detention Center, he released Saturday after posting bond of $4,620, booking records showed. 

It’s at least the third incident to bring law enforcement to a metro Atlanta campus just as the 2019-20 school year gets underway.

Stephenson High School in DeKalb County was placed on lockdown Tuesday morning after a student said she saw someone with a gun. A 14-year-old has been arrested in connection with the incident. We’re working to learn more.

Stephenson High School students walk past DeKalb County SWAT officers outside the school Tuesday morning, Aug. 13, 2019. Officers burst into classrooms with guns drawn after a student reported seeing an armed classmate. The gun scare prompted a heavy police presence, road closures and a Level 3 lockdown at the school on Stephenson Road in Stone Mountain. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

At Walton High School in east Cobb, student Ty William Holder, 17, walked into class drunk and carrying alcohol on Aug. 6, an arrest warrant states. Holder blew a .216 on an alcohol breath device, police said. He threatened to kill an assistant principal and kicked him so violently the administrator needed medical treatment. 

Then Holder said he'd "get a gun and come back and kill everyone," the warrant says. The teen also kicked and spit on a police officer while threatening multiple times to kill them both, the warrant states. 

Holder was arrested Saturday at Peachford Hospital and booked into the Cobb jail, booking records show. He was released Monday evening on $10,000 bond and returned to the hospital. 

Walton High School administration alerted parents to the incident via email:

“Earlier today there was a student-related incident that took place in our school that some of our students may have witnessed. That situation has been resolved and the student involved is in the care of medical professionals. The school day is proceeding as it normally does and our community is hard at work teaching and learning. Thank you for your patience and your support!”

On Monday, Walton High School administration sent this follow-up email to parents:

“In response to recent media coverage, I have received quite a few questions about what we at Walton High School are doing to ensure the safety of our students and the security of our school.

“While I can’t speak to details which could violate medical confidentiality or student privacy, the questions I have received provide a great opportunity to tell you more about what we value and what we are doing to keep your child safe.

“With our new building, Walton is able to have exterior doors locked during the school day and all visitors must go through the front office. Last week, we had school safety day in which we reviewed all safety procedures with students and had a Code Red Drill. Additionally, our school safety plan has been vetted with the Cobb County School District Police Department.

“The Cobb County School District Police Department features a total of 65 highly trained officers, who average more than 25 years experience, and have a combined 1,690 years of service. We have some of the very best police officers at Walton High School keeping your child safe every day.

“SafeSchools Alert is our district’s anonymous tip reporting service. It provides any student or staff member the ability to tell police officers about anything that looks out of place or is concerning, all from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.

“Finally, AlertPoint is a state-of-the-art technology that will connect Walton students and staff with local emergency services in a way that could only be dreamed of in the past.

“These are just a few of the dozens of initiatives, programs, and procedures that we use to keep our students safe and our school secure. More details can be found at www.cobbshield.com.

“Helping students succeed is our first priority, but we can only accomplish this mission if our schools are safe, our students are confident, and our teachers are able to focus on teaching. I am confident we are doing everything possible to keep your student safe.”

Ty William Holder, 17, of Marietta, kicked a Walton High School assistant principal and threatened to “get a gun and come back and kill everyone,” after he gets out of jail, according to arrest warrants obtained by Atlanta's WSB-TV.
Photo: Cobb County Jail

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