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

   


Red Bank Police Seek 3, Maybe 4 Carjackers In Ashmore Avenue Incident

The City of Red Bank Police Department responded to a reported carjacking at approximately 11 a.m. on Tuesday, on the south end of Ashmore Avenue near Dayton Boulevard. The suspects were three, possibly four black males who were armed. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident should call the Red Bank Police Department at 423 877-2481. ... (click for more)

HCDE Announces New Administrative Appointments

Hamilton County Department of Education Interim Superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly announced on Tuesday three new principal and two central office appointments. “Strong school leadership is essential to student success. Great school leaders are the key to ensuring there is an excellent teacher in every classroom.  We are confident that these principals will provide outstanding ... (click for more)

Tennessee Business Expansions On Rise Across State

In 2016, Tennessee was named State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine based on project totals and the variety of industries that invested in the state and created jobs. To a great extent, Bradley and Polk Counties have benefited from that investment.   From February 2015 to February 2016, Cleveland/Bradley County led the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Public Defender And The Mental Health Court

I am holding in my hand a list of the names of 50 very real people who cost the taxpayers of Hamilton County a combined $3,037.090 in incarceration charges before July 2015. These people live in our county and I dare say it is not completely their fault that they were put in the county jail. Each has a professionally-diagnosed mental illness and today, most regretfully, the County ... (click for more)

Lennex Walker Wins A-AA State Pentathlon

MURFREESBORO -- The final Spring Fling is off to a roaring start for CSAS senior Lennex Walker. The most decorated track and field athlete ever for the Lady Patriots, Walker got the ball rolling with a victory in the Class A-AA Pentahlon at the Dean Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium Monday afternoon by winning three of the five events and finishing first with 3,306 points. Unicoi ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Reaches Class A/AA State Soccer Tournament

The setting was nothing new for the seven seniors on the Boyd-Buchanan boys’ soccer team, but this time the Bucs got to celebrate a different outcome.   Playing in their fourth consecutive Class A/AA state sectional, the Bucs put three years of heartbreak behind them by earning a 1-0 victory over Merrol Hyde and a trip to this week’s state tournament in Murfreesboro. ... (click for more)