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School Employee Saves Student From Attempted Kidnapping In Ogden

OGDEN, Utah Police said an armed school employee managed to fend off a man who grabbed a young girl by the arm and tried to walk off with her at an Ogden elementary school. 

Police said about 20 kids were on the playground at Lincoln Elementary on Tuesday when 41-year-old Ira Cox-Berry walked onto school grounds.

Officers said an employee watching from inside saw Cox-Berry grab a young girl by the arm.

“He ran out of the classroom as he was watching the kids out on the playground and confronted Cox-Berry and told him to leave,” said Lt. Brian Eynon with the Ogden Police Department.

According to arrest records, Cox-Berry at some point yelled out “Emily,” which is not the girl’s name. But during the confrontation, the girl was able to get away, and the employee got all of the kids inside as the school was put on a brief lockout.

Police said Cox-Berry wasn’t done there.

“(He) approached the window and tried to break the window to get into the classroom,” said Eynon. “At that particular time, the school employee then drew a handgun and pointed it at Cox-Berry and he attempted to flee.”

The employee, who is a concealed carry permit holder, was able to keep the suspect there for a brief moment until police arrived.

“And fortunately, at the end of the day, we’re happy to say that every student, every school employee is accounted for,” said Jer Bates, spokesman for the Ogden School District.

Bates said that employee responded just as he and others are trained district-wide by first removing students from the situation, locking school doors, and when all else fails, confronting the suspect.

“We’re grateful that an adult was at the scene and had the presence of mind to intervene and take steps to ensure both student safety and the safety of fellow employees,” said Bates.

Cox-Berry was being held at the Weber County Jail on suspicion of attempted child kidnapping.

Police were still looking into his motives, but add that he was high on some kind of drugs and was not acting rationally at the time of the incident. 

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