A man in Florida was taken into custody after he allegedly threatened to stab elementary school children on the first day of school.
The 22-year-old with a history of mental disorders was taken in for evaluation under Florida’s Baker Act after he reportedly planned an attack on a Tampa elementary school because of its American flag-themed painting, according to WTVT-TV.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office issued a bulletin marked as “situational awareness” and “law enforcement sensitive” on Monday describing the plan by Andrew Ivan Aman to “stab as many children as possible” at Bellamy Elementary School.
“If adults get in the way, he planned to stab them as well,” the memo stated, noting that Aman allegedly had concealed a kitchen knife in a bag to use in his attack.
He reportedly targeted the Tampa school because of his hatred of America and “the school’s ‘obnoxious pride in America’ as illustrated by the large American flag mural on the front of the building,” the memo stated.
“He disliked the school because the exterior of the building is painted like an American flag and he has negative views of patriotism towards the United States,” Crystal Clark, the chief communications officer for the sheriff’s office, said, according to WFLA-TV.
The school, painted in red, white and blue and with stars and stripes, is named in honor of Francis Bellamy, who authored the Pledge of Allegiance in 1882 and lived in Tampa for seven years.
Aman was apparently on his way to the school when he was sidetracked by his roommate and told him of his plan. The roommate then contacted police who arrived at the home and determined he needed to be taken in for a medical evaluation under the provisions of the Florida Mental Health Act, which allows for the involuntary evaluation of those with mental illnesses.
No firearms were found at the residence, and Aman has not yet been charged with any crime, the news outlet reported.
“An investigation is ongoing and charges could follow,” Clark said. “However, there is currently no safety threat for students, parents, or staff of Bellamy Elementary.”
A prior arrest for aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon ended up with the charges being dropped against Aman when he agreed to enter a program, according to WTVT.
The report came amid highly contentious debates about gun laws, background checks, and mental illness in the wake of two mass shootings this month. Congress launched a bipartisan measure to get states to adopt “red flag” laws which would allow firearms to be confiscated from people who are believed to be dangers to themselves or others.
President Trump has indicated he supports the idea, further dividing lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the debate.
“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do those firearms can be taken through rapid due process,” Trump said Monday at the White House.
Fortunately, the planned attack on schoolchildren by Aman – who was armed with a knife, not a gun – was stopped. Twitter users weighed in on the report and the man’s open hatred for America.
Another Democrat nut job! The only ban on firearms, should be to ban all Democrats, Socialists, and Liberals from being in possession of one.
— Peter T (@pt40fathoms) August 14, 2019
When did having pride for 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 cause such vile behavior???
— pineappleonapeach (@pineappleonape1) August 14, 2019
We are going to see a lot more of this in the near future. The left keeps inciting their kook fringe
— Jon (@StombaughJon) August 14, 2019
GUNS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM, ITS PEOPLE. I SAID WHAT I SAID. https://t.co/NM0P7fkOfN
— KaileaMarie🦋 (@HarrodKailea) August 14, 2019
In Tampa a deranged young man wanted to stab the children and staff at an elementary school because the outside of the school was painted to resemble an American flag. The democrats are driving the unstable toward dangerous actions.https://t.co/DB5UTW3RYd thank you #DNC
— thriftymaven (@thriftymaven) August 14, 2019
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