Elementary principal beaten and robbed

June 24, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police say a man got into an elementary school on Tuesday and beat and robbed the principal as she made summer-school plans.

It was a pretty brazen crime and by Tuesday night, police have stepped up patrols around Manzanita Community School, in Oakland's Fruitvale district.

Manzanita Community School principal, Eyana Spencer, was in the building Tuesday morning talking to parents on the phone about summer school. Somehow, a man got inside the elementary school.

"He had assaulted her in some way because there was blood," said Claude Crudup, a neighbor.

Claude Crudup, who lives across the street, says there were construction workers outside and at least one custodian in the building.

"I was talking with the custodian and basically he told me the principal came in today, parked her car, said hello to everyone, went in the building and within five minutes she was on the loudspeaker calling for help," said Claude Crudup, a neighbor.

Oakland Unified School District says a man wearing all black and weighing about 240 pounds, robbed Ms. Spencer and pistol whipped her several times. She was taken to the hospital with a concussion and received several stitches. It's unclear if Ms. Spencer regularly locks the school doors while she's alone in the building.

"That's something that's encouraged, but it's really up to the discretion of the principal," said Troy Flint, a spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District.

"You use to be able to walk down the street at night around here. You can't do that anymore. You could end up getting shot," said Diana Gregory, a neighbor.

Even neighbors who have had safety concerns were shocked to hear a principal had been robbed and beaten in her own school. Ms. Spencer was release from the hospital and she's recovering at home.

Ms. Spencer has been the principal at the school for the past two years. Meanwhile, the school district says they will be reviewing their safety procedures in the coming days.


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