Name, more info released in JHS burglary

JONESBORO, Ark. – We know who decided to go back to school over the weekend.

Derrick Thomas, 18, of Jonesboro, was arrested for breaking into Jonesboro High School on Sunday morning in Jonesboro.

It happened between 6 a.m. and around noon, with Thomas suspected of breaking into the school, damaging items belonging to students and the school itself. The suspect was also hungry, choosing to have some juice, milk, mini-pizzas and a Pop-Tart. However, he also utilized a Colgate toothbrush, hopefully following the meal.

In addition to his meal, the suspect is believed to have painted on a table and put his purple Jimi Hendrix shirt on a mannequin. In a more serious act, though, an art board featuring photos of female students had the words, “so whose naughty places am I touching next.”

School resource officers and others didn’t take long to identify Thomas, according to the report, from previous dealings. Dr. Kim Wilbanks, superintendent, told officers the man has been criminally banned from the school multiple times and the school has even had to go into lockdown mode because Thomas would come to the school and “chant at students and staff.”

With the suspect identified, Officer Pete Lochner headed in the area of town the man was last seen in. While patrolling the 1400-block of West Nettleton Avenue, Lochner pulled into fire station #2, observing a man matching the description sitting at a picnic table.

The officer reported asking the man’s name and upon self-identification by Thomas, he was immediately informed he was under arrest – and to stand up. Lochner wrote that Thomas asked “Why?” The officer didn’t feel he owed the man an explanation and once again, commanded him to stand up and that he was under arrest. Again, Thomas asked “Why?”

This is when Lochner deployed his K9, Cygan, and for a third time, told Thomas to get on the ground. Thomas didn’t comply, according to the report, so Lochner grabbed him by the shirt and threw him to the ground. The police dog attempted to engage the suspect but Lochner reported he was able to restrain the man without anyone being injured.

Thomas faces two felony charges, including commercial burglary and terroristic threatening of a school. He also faces misdemeanor mischief and theft charges.

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