Police arrest student for drawing knife

A Columbus East High School student was arrested after threatening a school staff member and counselors with a pocket knife after his cellphone was taken away.

Jacob “T.J.” Acton, 18, 730 Wilson St., was arrested at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday on charges of possession of a knife on school property and intimidation by drawing a deadly weapon, according to Bartholomew County Jail officials.

He is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bond, jail officials said.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. sent out a note to parents Friday morning about the incident, which included letting them know that Acton has been suspended, pending expulsion.

The incident began when patrol officer Julie Quesenbery, assigned to Columbus East as school resource officer, was notified of a disturbance in a second-floor classroom toward the end of the school day, said Sgt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police spokesman.

A school staff member who had been in the classroom told Quesenbery that Acton had threatened a staff member and counselors in the room with a knife after his cellphone was taken away as a punishment for texting in class, Harris said.

There were no other students in the room when the incident occurred, Harris said.

When Quesenbery entered the room, Acton was holding the knife, which was closed, while seated in the classroom, Harris said.

Quesenbery and a school dean, Marianne Wohlford, ordered Acton to drop the knife, and eventually were able to talk him into putting it down and giving it to the school resource officer, Harris said.

Several more Columbus police officers were called to the scene, which follows protocol when a weapon is involved on school property, according to the note to parents. No one was injured, Harris said.

Superintendent John Quick commended Wohlford for her help in getting Acton to surrender the knife.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.