DUBOIS – A DuBois man is facing charges for allegedly threatening students at the DuBois Area Middle School.
Joel Rojas, 34, is charged with three M1 counts of terroristic threats, two M1 counts of defiant trespass and two M3 counts of disorderly conduct as a result of his actions on March 22.
He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 2 during centralized court before District Judge Patrick Ford.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Rojas arrived at the school in his motorized wheelchair and demanded to speak to someone in charge. He said he wouldn’t leave until things were taken care of. The school’s principal, Darren Hack, invited him into his office.
Rojas told Hack and a guidance counselor that his daughter was mistreated and something better be done or he would “take care of it.” He explained two students called his daughter a “disgusting whore” and one of the students allegedly pulled her headphones off her head.
Rojas allegedly said he would “get school-age kids from New Jersey to come to DuBois and take care of them.” Hack advised him he would follow-up with the students, but Rojas demanded he do something right now or he would take care of it. Rojas continued to threaten the students as he got louder and more volatile.
Hack told police he tried to discuss matters and defuse the situation. He even pulled Rojas’ daughter out of class to join the meeting at Rojas’s demand. As it escalated, Hack asked and then told Rojas to leave. Rojas refused and said “you hide behind your shirt and tie,” according to the report.
A school police officer then entered the office and asked Rojas to leave. He allegedly replied “Go ahead. Put hands on me. Make me.” Rojas was advised he was trespassing. Rojas continued to refuse to leave and demanded Hack do something about the students.
Rojas stated that he was “banned from Wasson School, so go ahead and try to get me to leave here too.” He continued to be obnoxious and used swear words in a loud voice that could be heard by the secretarial staff, parents and students in the main office, the witnesses reported.
Assistant Principal Michael Maholtz arrived and was insulted by Rojas. Maholtz told him he didn’t know what was wrong, but the meeting was over. He advised Rojas that he was not allowed to speak to him or anyone else at the school the way he did and told him to leave. Rojas allegedly said he would “lay him out or someone from his gang would.”
Another school police officer arrived and told Rojas that he had warned him before about his conduct on school property. He was ordered to leave by both officers. Instead Rojas kept saying “Make me. Put hands on me. Go ahead,” they said.
Eventually Rojas was escorted out. As he was leaving the main office area, he shouted some obscenities. Students were directed to areas of safety until Rojas left the premises.
Rojas allegedly continued to yell and threatened one of the officers by saying “a gang will be taking care of you.”
As he came to the front entrance, there were at least seven students from the Life Skills/Autism/emotional support classes preparing to leave.
Police said Rojas operated his wheelchair through the middle of the group, sending them in disarray as he continued to swear and yell. The students were taken from the area and dismissal was delayed for five minutes until Rojas left the area.
Rojas was escorted out but he continued to yell obscenities. At one point, he held a phone in the air and stated he “recorded the whole thing and you can’t do anything about it,” according to the complaint.
When an officer spoke with the guidance counselor, she said earlier she was on the phone with Rojas’ wife who was reporting the problem with her daughter. She could hear Rojas in the background yelling. His wife told him to shut up as she was talking.