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

   


Man Shot On S. Kelly Street Tuesday Evening

A man was shot on S. Kelly Street Tuesday evening. At approximately  7:37  p.m., Chattanooga Police Officers responded to the area of 400 S. Kelly to investigate shots fired.  Officers searched the area but were unable to locate a victim of a shooting. Sho rtly after the initial call, police were advised of a gunshot victim that arrived at a local hospital ... (click for more)

School Board Votes To Pay Over $4 Million For Math Textbooks

The County School Board on Tuesday night voted to pay over $4 million for a new edition of math textbooks for K-12. Several board members who supported the move said they had spoken to principals and math teachers, and they were in favor of the new textbooks from Curriculum Associates. Greg Martin was opposed, saying the board should have used all fund balance instead of sources ... (click for more)

County Officials Need To Provide A Decent Animal Shelter

Once upon a time, a group of citizens concerned about the decaying building housing the Humane Educational Society on Highland Park raised their voices in an outcry about the deplorable state of the HES facility and the over-population of unwanted and unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs in Hamilton County.   What happened then was that the City Council stepped ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two More Kick Out UAW

Woody Hayes, the great Ohio State football coach, used to teach his players to “paralyze resistance with persistence” but, my word, the likable theory has taken quite a beating in the past two years at the NTN-Bower ball-bearing plant in Hamilton, Ala. The workers there voted to decertify from the United Auto Workers union two years ago but getting the UAW out the door has turned ... (click for more)

Tull Named SoCon Athlete Of The Year

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull has been named the 2015 Southern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, the league announced today (May 26). Tull will be honored as part of the league’s annual Honors Dinner on Wednesday night in Hilton Head Island, S.C.   Tull becomes the first Moc to win the Male Athlete of the Year Award. As a senior, he ... (click for more)

Soccer Abounds For Chattanooga FC

The Chattanooga FC soccer team continues it's busy schedule this week with games on Wednesday and Friday in two separate national tournaments.    Chattanooga hosts the Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday in the third round of the US Open Cup. The Silverbacks are a professional team that plays in the NASL.   The Silverbacks ended Chattanooga's run in the last year's ... (click for more)