Bristol, VA – A Washington County Virginia school resource officer was assaulted by an armed fugitive inside an elementary school as the officer was attempting to place him under arrest on Friday afternoon.
Ryan Jones, 37, and Miranda Jones, 31, had gone to Valley Institute Elementary School to meet with school staff, the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office (WCVSO) said in a news release.
While the Jones’ were in the meeting, WCVSO Deputy School Resource Officer Harry Foster recognized Ryan as being a possible fugitive, and contacted the dispatch station to see if he had any active warrants.
Central Dispatch confirmed that Ryan was the subject of a Washington County warrant, so the deputy escorted Ryan to his office to take him into custody.
Deputy Foster then located a fixed-blade knife in a sheath on Ryan’s waist, removed the weapon, and began placing him under arrest, according to the department.
The suspect became combative, and allegedly assaulted Deputy Foster before he fled from the building on foot.
The school resource officer chased after the wanted man until he left school property, then he returned to the building to keep staff and students safe until additional deputies arrived.
The couple was located at their residence a short while later, and Ryan was arrested without further incident.
Miranda was also taken into custody due to an outstanding City of Bristol probation violation warrant.
Deputies ultimately obtained a search warrant for the Jones’ vehicle, and found “two loaded handguns” and marijuana inside, police said.
“I am thankful for the quick actions of SRO Harry Foster today” Washington County Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman said in the release. “Keeping our students and school staff safe is one the top priorities of law enforcement in today’s society.”
“I believe incidents such as this highlight the need for SRO’s in Every School,” the sheriff added. “I am very thankful for the working relationship we have with the Washington County School System and Washington County Board of Supervisors as their support helped make that goal a reality.”
Ryan was arrested for the outstanding warrant, as well as new offenses of possession of a knife on school property, possession of a firearm on school property, attempt to flee from law enforcement, and assault and battery on a law enforcement officer.