Police: Suspect tried to gain access to Barrington campus

NEWMAN - A man armed with a knife attempted to enter Hurd Barrington Elementary School and threatened maintenance staff Tuesday morning before being taken into custody near the campus, police said.

The suspect was identified by authorities as Theodore Lopez, 24, of Newman.

According to a Newman Police Department press release, officers were dispatched to the school shortly after 9 a.m. for a report of a male armed with a knife.

Responding officers located Lopez at the intersection of Eucalyptus Avenue and Banff Drive. Police said Lopez was acting irrationally, refused the officer's commands and became combative. A Taser was used as police attempted to take Lopez into custody, authorities said, and he was ultimately subdued by a K-9 unit.

Police said their investigation determined that Lopez had walked onto the front parking area of the school and attempted to gain access the school's multi-use room, but the door was locked. When maintenance staff confronted Lopez, police reported, he threatened to kill them while brandishing a knife.

After being unable to gain access to the campus, Lopez walked to the adjacent intersection where he was contacted by police. Lopez had dropped the knife before being taken into custody, Lt. Brett Short said.

Lopez was booked into Stanislaus County Jail for charges relating to the incident.

Short said Lopez has no affiliation with the elementary school. The school did initiate a lockdown during the incident, he said.

Lopez was not cooperating with authorities, Short said Tuesday, and it was not known why he tried to enter the campus.

Authorities ask anyone with information about this case to contact Officer Edgar Lopez at (209) 862-2902 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward