Man held for California school fight, gun threat to students

CORONA, Calif. (AP) — A man who allegedly punched three players during a girls' high school basketball game in Corona, California, and then pulled a gun on other students has been arrested, police said.

Thaddis Brooks, 39, of Perris, was arrested Thursday in connection with a confrontation that occurred Jan. 24 during a game at Centennial High School, police said.

During a game against visiting Santiago High School, witnesses said two students from the teams got into a fight on the court, a police statement said.

Police Sgt. Jason Waldon told the Los Angeles Times that Brooks, who was watching the game and was related to one player, left the stands, went onto the court and injured three girls, ages 16 and 17.

He was restrained and left the gymnasium but went to the parking lot and got a handgun from his car, police said.

He pointed it at some female students, ages 13 to 17, and threatened to shoot them but fled before police arrived, Waldon said.

On Thursday, police searched his home. They didn't find any guns but found more than 40 dogs there. Animal control officers “determined there were animal cruelty factors present due to the conditions of the residence," the police statement said.

Brooks was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, brandishing a deadly weapon, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a firearm on school grounds and child abuse.

He remained jailed Saturday on $350,000 bail. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

Court records show Brooks has a criminal record stretching back decades that includes guilty pleas to drug possession, battery causing serious bodily injury and making criminal threats, the Times said.

Corona is about an hour's drive southeast of Los Angeles.

In a statement, the Corona-Norco Unified School District said it would be increasing security at indoor athletic events, including the addition of more law enforcement and metal detectors.