A 16-year-old Navarre High School student was arrested April 17 for having a loaded gun at school. According to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Joshua Neal Patton was arrested around 10 a.m. and charged with possession of a firearm on school grounds, a third degree felony.
Santa Rosa County Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick said that within minutes of information about a possible weapon, the student was apprehended and the weapon secured. “If the weapon had not been collected and we had reason to believe it was on campus we would have immediately moved into a lock down mode.”
According to the arrest report, a deputy located Patton in his PE class, secured him and took him to a nearby office. The deputy searched Patton but did not find a weapon. Patton’s book bag was then searched and the deputy found a loaded 22 caliber revolver in a holster. Patton was immediately handcuffed, and the deputy unloaded and secured the weapon. He was later taken to the Santa Rosa County Jail.
Parents were notified of the incident at approximately 3 p.m., about five hours after the arrest, via a recorded phone message and email from Navarre High School Principal Brian Noack.
Wyrosdick, responding to a question from Navarre Press regarding the amount of time that passed between the incident and the notification of parents, said, “With regard to notifying parents…we do so in a timely manner as is dictated by each situation.”
Read more in the April 24 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.