Fred Pace -- Civitas News Service
January 24, 2013
COMFORT, W.Va. — Boone County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Herman Dewayne Pickens, 53, of Peytona, Wednesday morning at approximately 10:30, according to a news release.
Pickens was arrested for “Threats of Terrorist Acts” at Sherman Elementary School in Comfort.
Deputies were made aware that Pickens had been in the school on several occasions and made specific threats concerning a firearm, to the staff of the school.
Corporal B.G. Browning encountered Pickens inside the school this morning and Pickens had a firearm holster on his belt where it was visible to students and staff.
Boone County Schools Superintendent John Hudson said Pickens did not have a gun inside of the school.
“No individual, to my knowledge, brought a gun inside of the school,” Hudson explained. “He had a firearm holster that was empty.”
Police said Pickens also had in his possession a folding knife which is prohibited on school grounds.
However, in close proximity to the school and inside Pickens’ vehicle, officers located a loaded .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, according to the police report.
On at least two prior occasions this month, Pickens brandished the empty holster to the staff and made threats of not leaving his gun in his vehicle the next time he came in, according to police.
“This is why we called the police to the school,” Hudson said.
Police said these acts made the staff fear for the safety of their lives as well as the lives of the children inside the school.
Pickens was taken before Magistrate C. Porter Snodgrass and arraigned Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 23, 2013. A $100,000 property bond was set.