Westview Elementary Vandal Said He Planned To Burn The School Down After Rampage

Thursday, August 14, 2014
Aaron Roden
Aaron Roden

The 22-year-old charged with a rampage through Westview Elementary School told authorities he planned "to do as much damage as possible, and then burn the school down."

Aaron Roden was moved from Erlanger Hospital on Thursday to the Hamilton County Jail.

He faces vandalism over $60,000, burglary and two counts of assault on police in connection with the torrent of damage that caused the school to have to be closed on Tuesday.

The arrest report said that when deputies got to Roden he was in a room at the school hanging from the rafters. He was wearing only boxer shorts.

He threw a printer at two deputies, who had to taze him to get him under control.

The first deputy at the scene of the school on East Brainerd Road said he began to check the perimeter of the school and saw someone's silhouette. He said he saw him breaking ceiling tiles and trying to kick in a door.

He said when Roden saw him he started running toward him. He said he then stopped, pulled a fire extinguisher off the wall and threw it through a glass door toward him. The deputy had to dodge the fire extinguisher.

Roden then ran down a hallway out of sight. 

The deputy said he then called for backup, and units from the sheriff's office and Collegedale police arrived. Keys to get inside were provided by county maintenance.

Deputies said as they proceeded inside they heard noise at the other end of the school. They were able to trace Roden to a conference room. They said they began to beat on the door, and Roden would beat on the door back.

Deputies at first could not get the door open because Roden had moved all the furniture in front of the door. They were finally able to push their way inside.

Roden stopped swinging from the rafters, then picked up the printer and yelled at the deputies. He was tazed after he refused orders to drop to the floor. Roden fell to the floor after being tazed. The deputies were able to roll him over and handcuff him.

Roden was described as "frantic and sweating heavily." He refused to walk so the deputies had to carry him out of the room. 

The deputies said they could not carry him further because he was sweating so heavily. They awaited the arrival of paramedics.

He made the statement about his intentions for destroying the school while being prepped to be taken to Erlanger.

Authorities said the damage exceeded $60,000.

The school reopened on Wednesday after a cleanup that extended far into the night.

Roden is set to appear next Thursday before General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes.

At the jail, Roden gave his address as 4111 Tennessee Ave., St. Elmo


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