Students arrested for allegedly flicking pellet

Joshua Kellogg

FARMINGTON — Two Kirtland Central High School students were arrested this morning for allegedly flicking pellets that struck a teacher, which placed the school into a preventive lockdown for about two hours.

San Juan County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a 16-year-old from Kirtland and a 15-year-old from Fruitland after an investigation found that an unidentified teacher was hit with a pellet, according to Sheriff's Office detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln.

The pellet, which is typically shot from a pellet gun, was made out of metal, Lincoln said.

The teacher was not injured but was shaken up, according to a press release from the Central Consolidated School District.

Both students were booked into the San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center, and each faces a felony charge of aggravated battery on a school official and a misdemeanor charge of intervening with the educational process, according to a post on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

The 16-year-old also faces a felony charge for possession of alcohol by a minor after police allegedly found a small bottle of liquor in the student's backpack, Lincoln said.

As a safety precaution, Kirtland Central was placed into a preventative shelter-in-place from 8:02 to 10 a.m. this morning as deputies investigated, the CCSD press release states.

Lincoln said the female teacher was allegedly struck in the upper chest with a pellet as the two students flicked multiple pellets around the classroom.

During the investigation, deputies found 12 pellets in the classroom, Lincoln said.

A letter about the incident will be sent home with Kirtland Central students today , according to the CCSD release.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.