On October 28, 2016 at approximately 10:00 p.m., Atwater Police Officer D. Sarginson (School Resource Officer) was working a Sadie Hawkins Dance at Buhach Colony High School. Officer Sarginson and his K9 partner “Cash” were conducting foot patrol in the northeast parking lot of the school when Cash alerted on a gold Acura parked near the pool. Officer Sarginson set up surveillance on the vehicle and a short time later, four students exited the dance and got into the Acura. Officer Sarginson initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle prior to it leaving the parking lot.
While approaching the vehicle Officer Sarginson observed the driver making furtive movements and appeared to be reaching underneath the front seat. Fearing for his safety, all four occupants were then held at gunpoint while other patrol officers were dispatched to assist. Once other units arrived, all four occupants were removed from the vehicle and detained while a search was conducted. Officers searched the vehicle and found a loaded .45 caliber handgun underneath the front seat as well as a bag containing marijuana.
Upon being questioned, the sixteen year old driver took ownership of the gun and marijuana. He was arrested and booked at juvenile hall. The other three juvenile occupants were released to their parents.
Interim Police Chief Samuel Joseph commended Officer Sarginson and Cash for preventing what could have been a dangerous situation at school.