Armed teacher thwarts attempted kidnapping at Utah school

OGDEN, Utah — An armed teacher in Utah thwarted an attempted kidnapping Tuesday after confronting a man who was trying to take an 11-year-old girl from an elementary school playground, investigators said.

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Ogden police said a teacher, who is licensed to carry a concealed firearm, saw Ira Cox-Berry, 41, walk up and put his arms on an 11-year-old girl in an attempt to take her, WTVX reported.

The teacher ran outside and confronted Cox-Berry, which gave the girl a chance to escape, police said. The teacher was then able to get 20 other students who were on the playground into the school.

Cox-Berry then went to the school building and punched a window to try and get inside. The teacher then pulled out his firearm to keep Cox-Berry at bay while he called police.

Officers arrived and took Cox-Berry into custody. Police said the suspect was under the influence of drugs. Cox-Berry was arrested and charged with child kidnapping. Police said other charges are pending.

The teacher will not be charged for showing his firearm during the altercation.

“This employee is protected under the Second Amendment,” Lt. Brian Eynon told WTVX. “He followed all policy and procedure at the school, and in this particular case, did everything that he should have done to protect the innocent lives of the children at the school. And in this case, it is likely that a life was saved or injury to a life was prevented due to the actions of this heroic employee.”

Jer Bates, with the Ogden School District, said the teacher acted appropriately.

“A teacher intervened when there was a situation that threatened students’ safety. This teacher, this school employee, is a hero. We don’t disagree with that at all,” Bates said. “Yes, it was a very scary situation, something we take very seriously, but it came out with a good ending, meaning no students were physically harmed, no adults were physically harmed, that this was an incident where our emergency response protocols were acted out.”

Counselors were provided to help the victim and the other students.

“At this time, to the best of our knowledge, the student is coping quite well considering the very traumatic experience that they endured,” Bates said.

**Please See the attached press release** Incidents such as these can be very traumatic and overwhelming. If you or...

Posted by Ogden Police UT on Wednesday, May 26, 2021