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Calif. teacher arrested for road rage and armed robbery, had loaded gun in classroom during arrest

San Jose middle school teacher Charles So was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a February road rage incident. Police found a loaded weapon in his classroom while taking him into custody, resulting in an addition felony charge against him of possessing a firearm on school property. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

A teacher in San Jose, California, was arrested on Wednesday over a February road rage incident that police say "escalated to a strong arm robbery." When officers took the suspect into custody, he had a loaded handgun in his classroom.

What happened?

Detectives believe teacher Charles So battered another man in a Feb. 21 road rage incident, taking the victim's cellphone before fleeing.

So is a 35-year-old language arts teacher at Chaboya Middle School, where he was arrested after a monthslong investigation. The San Jose Police Department used its MERGE Unit — the department's version of a SWAT team — in making the arrest after classes were done for the day.

So now faces felony charges for robbery and possession of a firearm at a school.

Speaking with KPIX-TV, San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said of So's arrest: "He's gonna have a very difficult time explaining why he had a loaded firearm in a classroom."

Garcia confirmed to Mercury News that the gun was registered to So.

"There is no indication at this time that he was going to use that handgun against staff or students," Garcia added.

How did the school district react?

Evergreen School District spokesman Charles Crosby expressed dismay that their employee had brought a gun on campus.

"We're appalled. It's disgraceful that any teacher would think that's an appropriate thing to do," Crosby told KPIX.

According to Crosby, So had passed background and fingerprint checks upon his recent hiring.

"It's alarming to us that this is something that wouldn't have been flagged and not picked up in a background check" he added.

Anything else?

Two parents spoke with KPIX about the incident on the condition of anonymity, saying they were upset about the news.

"You hear about it happening elsewhere. You just don't think it's gonna be happening at your school," said one parent.

Another said, "Someone failed. Someone dropped the ball on this."

One week before So's arrest, The New York Times reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is kicking around the idea of dedicating federal funds to arm teachers.

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