Man punched high school girls playing basketball, police say

It all started last month with a scuffle during a girls’ basketball game at Centennial High School in Corona.

Players from opposing teams — the Centennial High Huskies and Santiago High School Sharks — battled for the ball after a foul was called. A few players pushed each other.

Then, according to police, a man jumped down from the stands, ran into the square and punched several of the girls.

After being grabbed by someone else in the crowd, he walked to his car in the parking lot, pulled out a pistol, pointed it at several students and threatened to shoot them, Corona police said in a statement. He fled just before officers arrived.

The Corona Police Department identified the man Friday as Thaddis Brooks, 39, of Perris.

Brooks was arrested Thursday at his home on suspicion of making criminal threats, wielding a deadly weapon, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing a firearm on school property and committing child molestation.

Accounting records show that Brooks is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside in lieu of $350,000 bail and that he is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

According to records from the San Bernardino County Superior Court, Brooks has been convicted of multiple felonies.

He pleaded guilty in 2006 to assaulting a battery causing grievous bodily harm and he pleaded guilty in 2009 to making criminal threats. He also pleaded guilty to multiple drug possession charges over the years.

Authorities did not find any firearms during a search of Brooks’ Perris home on Thursday, the police department said in a statement.

Corona Police Sgt. Jason Waldon said in an email to The Times on Friday that Brooks was “related to a player on one of the teams” who played at Centennial High School on Jan. 24. He said police did not name the team.

Waldon said that Brooks injured three girls, ages 16 and 17, on the basketball court.

“In the parking lot, the suspect pointed his gun at several other students and threatened to shoot them,” Waldon said. These girls, he said, were between 13 and 17 years old.

The Corona-Norco Unified School District said in a statement Friday that the girls’ basketball game was in the fourth quarter when the melee began.

“This incident was extremely concerning and we want to make it clear that CNUSD does not stand for conduct that threatens the safety of our students, staff or the community,” the district said.

The district said it will implement additional security measures at indoor sporting events, including an increased presence of law enforcement and staff, and metal detectors. Persons exiting the building will not be allowed back in and bags will be searched. Man punched high school girls playing basketball, police say

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