Student allegedly assaults assistant principal, officer

A Farragut High School student, 18, stands accused of assaulting an FHS assistant principal and one of the school’s resource officers last week on school grounds, according to a Knox County Sheriff’s Office report.

Lonnie Alexander Saunders was arrested Thursday, March 23, and charged with aggravated assault, strangulation, obstructing a police officer and resisting arrest following the incident, which began at 1:22 p.m. School resource officer Daniel Foster, who works for KCSO, authored the report, in which he stated he first saw Saunders “shoving and striking (assistant principal) Steve Killian in the chest area of his body and pushing him through the exit doors of the school, near the disability parking area.

“I ran and began to restrain the suspect,” the report added. “We fell to the ground outside the doors. I began to place a handcuff on his right hand; however, due to the large pack on his back, it impeded me cuffing.

“I asked the suspect if he had calmed down, and that if he has, then I would let him up, place the cuff on his left hand and talk. The suspect responded twice, ‘Yeah,’” the report continued.

“I stood him up, held his right arm and began removing his pack. He shoved me off and began to run. I took him down, and (school resource officer) Robert Hilton (who also works for KCSO) assisted,” Foster also stated in his report.

“While on the ground, the suspect commenced strangling Hilton around the neck. The suspect stated, ‘Let me go and I’ll let him go.’ I asked, ‘What?’ A second time, the suspect stated, ‘Let me go and I’ll let him go.’” I was not sure of what he was speaking of until after we had him restrained and in custody, then Officer Hilton said, ‘He (the suspect) was choking me.”

“Officer Hilton stated, ‘I was seeing black and was about to go out.’ (Hilton) also stated he was convinced the suspect was going to choke him to death,” the report further stated.

The report noted the suspect had “a black backpack with candies, school supplies, cell phone, miscellaneous items and a school-assigned computer” and additionally described a wallet “with various cards, state I.D. and $573.”

“The school-assigned computer was taken by the principal and all other items went with (the suspect) during transport,” the report further stated.

The report also stated Saunders received a laceration during the incident, which was addressed by the school nurse prior to his being transported to Knox County’s Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility.

Dr. John Bartlett, FHS principal, and Knox County Schools declined to comment.

Saunders was no longer in custody as of Monday, March 27, according to reports.

No other information was available at press deadline.