ESCONDIDO (CNS) - Escondido police announced Saturday they will not be pursuing charges against two San Pasqual High School students who brought knives to campus.
Brandon Cappelletti, 18, and Sam Serrato, 16, were originally facing a misdemeanor citation and a juvenile diversion program, respectively. They were suspended from school and also facing expulsion after knives were found in their vehicles in the school parking lot on Jan. 27. The school has a zero tolerance policy against weapons.
Lt. Ed Varso said the Escondido Police Department conducted a thorough review of the cases against Serrato and Cappelletti.
"Following the review, and based on the totality of the circumstances, the Escondido Police Department has decided to not submit the cases to the District Attorney's Office, or to the Juvenile Diversion Program," Varso said in a statement. "No charges will be pursued in the case."
A contraband-sniffing dog alerted officials at the Bear Valley Parkway campus to the weapons in parked vehicles belonging to Cappelletti and Serrato. Both vehicles were searched. Three knives were found in Cappelletti's pickup truck and a knife with a 3-inch locking blade was found in Serrato's SUV, Varso
Cappelletti told investigators the knives were left in his vehicle following a fishing trip with family the weekend before.
Varso said the younger student purchased the weapon for protection with his parents' knowledge about a week and a half prior to it being found and had been bringing it to school, but leaving it in his car each day since.
"The safety of those attending schools in our community is paramount," Varso said. "Incidents where someone brings a weapon onto school property must always be taken seriously."
Such cases warrant a thorough investigation by school officials and law enforcement, according to Varso.
The administrative investigation conducted by school officials, as well as the criminal investigation conducted by law enforcement, included looking into all of the facts and circumstances that led to a weapon ending up on a school campus.
"Both investigative processes worked as designed, as is evidenced by the appropriate conclusion in the cases," Varso said.