Charles So, 35, is the suspect in a San Jose road rage incident on February 21. Police say it escalated into a strong arm robbery when So "battered the adult male victim and forcibly took the victim's cellphone."
After an investigation, an arrest warrant was issued. So was arrested at Chaboya Middle School. Officers found the loaded handgun during the arrest.
The school's website lists him as an eighth grade language arts teacher. Police and the Evergreen School District say he had just begun a new teaching job.
"This is the first time this teacher's name has actually come to my attention, and that's kind of what you want at the beginning of the year," district spokesperson Charles Crosby said. "You want teachers that are just going to work with our kids and have a great start to the year. This is anything but."
#BREAKING The man pictured below is Charles So. He’s a teacher at Chaboya Middle School in San Jose. SJPD says its MERGE unit arrested So in his classroom today. Officers also found a loaded gun. So's wanted in a road rage robbery case from February. #abc7now pic.twitter.com/wwimRjy19E— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaDTV) August 30, 2018
The school district says it only learned about the allegations against So on Wednesday afternoon. Crosby says So cleared background and fingerprint checks as recent as August 17.
"There was nothing in the record to show that there was anything we should worry about," Crosby added. "That's another issue that we would like a little clarity on because it's troubling."
One Chaboya Middle School parent spoke with ABC7 News off-camera and asked to remain anonymous. She says her son is a student in So's class.
"I think I'm numb, I'm numb. You hear about it happening elsewhere, you just don't think it's going to be happening in your school," she said about the loaded firearm in the classroom.
She says somewhere in the hiring process, the system ultimately failed its students.
While there is relief in knowing So is behind bars, the parents say there's also aggravation that a man accused of battering another person and forcibly taking the victim's cellphone in a road rage incident was ever allowed around kids.
"He's had anger issues, what if something have triggered him off," she said. "What if... there's a lot of what ifs!"
So was booked into the Santa Clara County jail on felony charges of robbery and possession of a firearm at a school.
#UPDATE Evergreen School District officials say they were only made aware of the road rage and robbery allegations against 35-year-old Charles So, this afternoon. I’m told he cleared background and fingerprint checks as recent as August 17th. #abc7now #ChaboyMiddleSchool pic.twitter.com/CeKNnqB3jz— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaDTV) August 30, 2018
“My kid’s part of the class, and it’s not ok,” a parent who didn’t want to be named, told me. She said there is relief knowing So is behind bars, but there’s also aggravation that a man accused of battering another person & robbing the victim was ever allowed around kids #abc7now pic.twitter.com/lcuEPOMIBu— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaDTV) August 30, 2018