HomeTop StoriesMan accused of taking weapons to Exeter schoolhouse

Man accused of taking weapons to Exeter schoolhouse

April 10 – A man wearing a clerical shirt and camouflage pants walked into the Exeter School District Administration Building in St. Lawrence on Tuesday, opened a briefcase to reveal three weapons and told a secretary that he was “going to take down an officer and get shot “, the police said.

The secretary called 911 and told the dispatcher that a man was dressed as a priest and said his name was “Jesus Christ,” according to the complaint.

Police were dispatched to the building at 200 Elm St., where the district offices were located, shortly after 11 a.m. Detective Joseph Taimanglo of the Central Berks Regional Police found Dennis S. Sallada, 53, in the main hallway and took him into custody.

After being handcuffed, Sallada declared himself “Jesus Christ” and said, “We’re all going to die,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Police said the briefcase was found on the counter, containing a .38-caliber revolver, a .22-caliber cap pistol and a pellet gun that is a replica of a semi-automatic pistol.

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Sallada, of the first block of Gebhart School Road in Brecknock Township, is not licensed to carry a concealed firearm, investigators said.

In addition to carrying without a permit, he was charged with possession of a weapon on school property and seven counts of reckless endangerment.

Following his arraignment before District Judge Andrea Book in Reading Central Court, he was booked into Berks County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail pending a hearing.

In a statement Tuesday to Exeter School District families, district officials said there were no students in the building, which was locked down once it was discovered the man had weapons.

The statement said district personnel acted quickly to restrain the individual and immediately contacted police. Officers from the Central Berks and Exeter Township police departments responded immediately.

“We are grateful for the quick response of our staff and law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of our buildings,” the statement said. “As always, the safety and well-being of our students, staff and visitors are our top priorities. Please rest assured that we remain vigilant in maintaining a safe learning environment for all.”

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