Police: Suspect grabs Stockton student, throws saw blades at officers

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STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — A man was arrested Wednesday morning after being accused of sexual battery on a Stockton student.

The Stockton Unified School District says a female student was grabbed by a transient at Weber Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology before the man ran away.

Joe Salas, an SUSD custodian, was on duty when he heard about the incident happening at the specialty high school.

“Apparently some guy had groped a student over there on Weber, I think around Weber Avenue down here in front of the school,” he told FOX40.

Investigators say SUSD officers found the man in the area of Lincoln and Washington streets.

With the help of Stockton police, officers were able to chase the man to a container where he attempted to hide. He then hit an officer with a metal object while throwing metal saw blades at other officers.

Police say the suspect set fire to the container before officers fired a bean bag round at him.

They were able to arrest 41-year-old Alfredo Hernandez Salas at the scene.

No officers were injured in the chase, according to police.

In a statement, SUSD alerted parents about the incident, saying in part:

It is extremely stressful any time violence touches us. If your family has experienced a trauma recently, this battery may trigger feelings about your situation. This is a normal experience. Please inform your child’s school if there is additional information we should be aware of so we can provide the support your child needs.

Stockton Unified School District

The custodian, who has no relation to the suspect, said his coworker’s actions were heroic.

“He pulled the blade out on him, so Joe hoped back in the truck and was following him,” he explained. “He never gave up. He just followed him the whole time.”

Joe Salas said he was hoping something is done about the transient population in the area.

“They build their camps outside the school and, you know, we got minors that come here and that can be a dangerous situation sometimes,” he told FOX40.

Once he is released from the hospital, Salas will face charges for assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, brandishing, arson, resisting arrest and sexual battery of a juvenile, as well as charges related to a warrant.

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