A former Pinellas County school guardian was arrested Wednesday and charged with five counts of false verification of ownership for pawning a handgun and other items issued to him by the Sheriff’s Office. Oh boy here we go!
Detectives started looking into Erick Russell, 37, after he was arrested Sept. 5 on charges of domestic battery and false imprisonment.
They discovered Russell had pawned his sheriff’s-issued Glock 17 9 mm firearm and two magazines on three occasions during a one-month period from July 2 to Aug. 1.
I’m a little disappointed it wasn’t a Glock Fortay.
Russell also pawned sheriff’s-issued body armor.
The items were pawned at Value Pawn, 29661 U.S. 19 North in Clearwater. The property was recovered during Russell’s arrest on the domestic battery charge.
Russell admitted to pawning the items while he was being interrogated Wednesday evening, the Sheriff’s Office said. He told detectives he needed gas money. Hey, these things happen. What else was he supposed to do? Not pawn them?
Russell began his employment with the school system in 2014 and served as a substitute teacher through April, 2019. Public school ladies and gentleman.
Russell transitioned to a role as a school guardian on Apr. 20. According to Pinellas County school district spokeswoman Lisa Wolf-Chason, Russell completed guardian training at the end of May. I bet the parents in the district slept better at night knowing here was on the job.
Russell is no longer employed by the school district. Wolf-Chason said that due to Russell’s status as a protected employee, she couldn’t divulge the name of any schools where Russell would have worked. Protected class, protected status..
This isn’t the first time a Florida school guardian has been charged with pawning a service weapon. I bet David Hogg has a solution to this problem.
Last October, James Johnson, a Duval County guardian, was accused of pawning his issued firearm on two occasions. snort! ahem..
Over in WV they have this program where they find some of the lowest welfare lifeforms in the state and give them a pie job for the state road called “Courtesy Patrol”. This means they drive a 30 mile stretch of US 119 in a state vehicle and if they see some one out of gas or broke down they give them a ride to the gas station or let them use a phone to call for help. This school guardian thing makes me think we are dealing with the same type
Johnson’s wife was an elementary school principal in the Duval school district. It’s good to see community service runs in the family