Parent at Lowry Elementary arrested after punching security officer over COVID-19 mask mandate, affidavit says

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Posted at 2:20 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 17:00:32-05

DENVER – A parent of a student at Lowry Elementary School was arrested last week after punching a school security officer who did not let him inside the campus after the man had a previous altercation over the school’s mask mandate, according to a probable cause statement obtained by Denver7 Monday.

Anthony Chavez, 42, was booked into the Downtown Denver Detention Center following the alleged attack on Jan. 27. He was charged with third-degree assault - knowingly causing injury, interference with school – credible threat, and violating of a restraining order, according to the jail records. He has since bonded out.

The probable cause statement shows Chavez had been served with a letter of conduct and a restraining order from the school prohibiting him from going inside school grounds after he was involved in an altercation on Jan. 12 over his son having to wear a mask.

About two weeks later, Chavez dropped off his son at Lowery Elementary and “walked toward the doors of the school thereby trespassing on school property” where he was met by a DPS security officer, arresting documents state.

The school security officer, who was wearing a “clearly marked uniform shirt indicating his position as [redacted] of DPS security,” told him he could not come inside, according to the affidavit.

The probable cause statement then goes on to state that Chavez “either knew or should reasonably should have known [redacted] had the legal authority to restrict access to the school,” and that by not following the security officer’s commands, Chavez interfered with the man’s ability to do his job as an employee of the school system.

The victim, who was only identified as a man in his early 50s, told police Chavez pushed him in the chest before punching him on the left side of his forehead, according to the probable cause statement.

A reporting officer could see the man had a scrape and some blood on his forehead. His knuckles were bleeding as well and his knee was cut, arresting documents show.

Police said Chavez had a previous warrant out for his arrest but did not go into specifics as to why. Chavez was then taken into custody without incident.

That very same day, a letter was sent to Lowry Elementary families by the school’s interim principal, Dr. Zed Jemison, which stated the school went on a brief secure perimeter (previously known as a lockout) during the alleged attack.

Sources who spoke with Denver7’s CB Cotton say this isn't the first time Chavez has caused issues at the school over mask requirements, and that the Jan. 27 attack follows a series of others DPS has faced recently.

Back on Jan. 24, a man went inside Centennial Elementary School under a false pretense to protest curriculum pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement. District officials said the man verbally harassed staff and parents.

Mayor Michael Hancock and the executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment said Monday afternoon that the city's indoor "vax or mask" requirement — which requires everyone aged 2 or older to wear a mask or show proof of vaccination — will end Friday.

The public health order requiring masks in schools and childcare facilities will remain in place for the time being so schools can remain open to in-person learning and so students and staff can operate “as safely as possible,” Hancock said. Businesses can also still require them if they so wish.

Denver7’s CB Cotton contributed to this report.