A parent pulled a closed pocket knife on a teen during a public meeting about guns at Rocky Point High School in Long Island, New York, on March 14.
The incident happened only hours after National Walkout Day in which students walked out for 17 minutes to protest gun violence in schools in honor of the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The man called 17-year-old Jade Pinkenburg up in front of the meeting and created a danger fantasy:
I’m considerably larger than you, OK> If something happened, if I decided to attack you, it would take the cops three to five minutes to come here — probably 10 if the traffic’s bad.
The man then pulled the knife on the teen and continued his bizarre point on why guns were needed in schools:
What are you gonna do now? What are you gonna do now?
“Stop it! Stop it!” Pinkenburg’s father, Chris, shouted, as his son ran to the back of the room.
Pinkenburg recalled how the man called him up in front of the audience and pulled his knife on him:
Everybody kind of freaked out. It was scary. He brought a weapon to school and it shocked everyone. No one knew who he was…
[I] had no idea what was happening. He was in my face a bit and I didn’t know what he was about to do. When I realized, I kind of jumped back. My legs got weak and my heart was beating fast.
Jade’s father Chris added:
He was out to intimidate my son, you can see it in the video. I didn’t hear it was a demonstration, so I started yelling to stop because he’s my kid and he started to look scared. He said he has two daughters. Why didn’t he use them?
Jo Herman, a senior who filmed the incident, said, “It was terrifying for everyone. . . . Nobody expected that to happen.”
While Suffolk County police are investigating the incident as a possible crime, Schools Superintendent Michael Ring defended the knife-bearing man in an email to parents:
While the district firmly acknowledges that the demonstration was ill-conceived and inappropriate for the venue, we believe that the act was not intended to compromise the safety of those in attendance.