DANIA BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The Broward Sheriff’s Office has arrested a middle school employee accused of bringing a gun on campus.
Deputies arrested 57-year-old Nathaniel Strowbridge, charging him with one count of possession of a firearm on school property.
Strowbridge is a security specialist and has been working at Olsen Middle School for 23 years.
He worked as a security specialist for three years at Coconut Creek High School prior to his tenure at Olsen Middle School.
Investigators said Strowbridge was questioned by the school’s resource deputy after the district got an anonymous tip that he was unstable and armed with a gun.
However, during Strowbridge’s court appearance a lawyer argued against the assertion that he was unstable.
“I would object to the State raising that argument, and I would ask the court not to consider that at all, unless the State has some evidence that Mr. Strowbridge is somehow not stable,” the lawyer said.
Deputies said Strowbridge first denied he was armed, but later changed his story, saying he had a gun in his car, which was parked on campus.
After a search warrant was executed, deputies found a .45-caliber gun in his 2016 Nissan Rouge.
Florida law prohibits most people form having a firearm on a school’s campus.
“How long could it take if he wanted to walk to his car and arm himself and then walk back to the campus? I mean, realistically?” a prosecutor asked during Strowbridge’s bond court hearing.
“I mean, realistically, if he was gonna do that, he would have done it in the last … 23 years,” responded a lawyer.
“The court does have concern that a student at the school could have broken into the car and someone else could have accessed it,” said a prosecutor.
News of the arrest came as a shock to both parents and students, especially with the incident happening on the second day of school.
“This is like a very, very scary situation,” said parent Janet Lucente. “The school board is supposed to be giving these people psychiatric evaluations before you place them in jobs like this with our children.”
“I think that’s really bad and that he deserved to go to jail because even though you weren’t going to hurt anybody, that’s still bad because why would you bring a gun in your car and you know that’s dangerous?” said Paige Jackson. “What happens if you accidentally might shoot yourself or sit the wrong way and it’s still in your car, you know?”
“You’ve seen the other schools, like how the shooting went down, and that’s crazy,” said Veronica Botero. “They need to put some protection, at least when they go in, some metal detector, you know? Or check their back.”
Strowbridge is being held on $10,000 bond, and upon his release, he has been ordered to stay away from schools.
Strowbridge has a clean record, and according to attorneys in court, his wife is on disability, and he cares for his three grandchildren.
The Broward County School Board placed Strowbridge on leave and banned him from school grounds pending the outcome of an investigation.
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