Police: Cranston school placed on lockdown after student’s father causes scene in front office

West Bay

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Cranston middle school was placed into lockdown Thursday after a parent became unruly and belligerent while trying to pick up his daughter, according to a police report obtained by 12 News.

The police report said officers responded to Western Hills Middle School around 8:30 a.m. for reports of a “parent issue” at the front office.

Upon their arrival, the police report said a man, identified as Josh Mello, was frustrated with school administrators because they would not let him pick his daughter up from school.

One of the administrators explained to the officers that there was a family court order in place that prevented Mello from picking up his daughter, according to the police report.

Throughout that conversation, the police report said Mello became “loud and tumultuous,” shouting obscenities at the administrators and ripping up a copy of the family court order that was given to him.

The school was placed into lockdown a short time later due to Mello’s behavior, the police report said.

One of the officers wrote in the police report that “Mello was angry over a child custody issue involving his daughter,” and all of their attempts to calm him down were unsuccessful.

(Courtesy: Cranston Police Department)

The police report said Mello remained frustrated even after the school received permission for him to take his daughter from her biological mother.

The officers had to wrestle Mello to the ground to take him into custody, the police report said. During the struggle, the police report said the officers discovered Mello had three knives on him – two in his pocket and one in his waistband.

The knife found in his waistband measured longer than three inches, according to the police report, making it an illegal weapon.

Mello is charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possessing a prohibited weapon, all of which are misdemeanors.

The police report said two no trespassing orders were filed against Mello following the incident – one for the middle school and another for the Briggs Administration building, where he’d been escorted out of a Cranston School Committee meeting earlier this month.

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