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Loaded gun found in classroom of San Jose teacher arrested in road rage robbery, police say

San Francisco Chronicle logo San Francisco Chronicle 8/31/2018 By Lauren Hernandez

Charles Ha So © Via The San Jose Police Department Charles Ha So For months, San Jose police worked to identify a man they say was involved in a road rage incident near San Jose State University that escalated into a robbery when the suspect forcibly snatched the victim’s cell phone before fleeing.

Officers arrested the suspect — Charles Ha So, a San Jose middle school teacher — on Wednesday. Police say they found a loaded handgun in a satchel inside the teacher’s classroom at Chaboya Middle School.

So, 35, faces two felony charges: one for robbery and one for possession of a firearm at a school.

Police say So robbed a motorist of his cell phone during the road rage incident at 88 S. Fourth St. in San Jose on Feb. 21 before fleeing.

After months of investigation, police identified So as the suspect and arrested him at Chaboya, where he works as a full-time teacher. The school website lists So as an eighth-grade language arts teacher. The school is part of the Evergreen School District.

Charles Crosby, director of communications for the district, said Wednesday night that it’s “reprehensible” that a teacher would think it’s appropriate to bring a loaded firearm on school property.

“He won’t be back in the classroom tomorrow, needless to say,” Crosby said. “We are appalled.”

He said So will be placed on administrative leave while school officials investigate his conduct.

Crosby said So had passed a comprehensive background check on Aug. 15, and was just one week into working for the middle school at the time of his arrest.

“We rely on tools like background checks and fingerprinting when we do our hiring,” Crosby said.

Crosby said school officials will be communicating with parents and guardians as they learn more about So’s conduct.

Anyone with information about the alleged robbery should contact Detective Sgt. Ray Vaughn of the San Jose Police Department’s robbery unit at 408-277-4166.

Anonymous callers may call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 408-947-7867.

Lauren Hernandez is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @LaurenPorFavor


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