Men with zip ties threaten school principal with ‘citizen’s arrest’ after student is told to quarantine over Covid-19 fears

Men with zip ties threaten school principal with ‘citizen’s arrest’ after student is told to quarantine over Covid-19 fears

An Arizona principal has claimed that after telling a student to quarantine following Covid-19 exposure, she was approached by three men, one carrying zip ties, threatening a citizen’s arrest.

Mesquite Elementary School principal Diane Vargo said the father of the boy that was told to quarantine arrived at the school and was “aggressive” with staff. He was then directed to the principal’s office, and two others in communication with the father later showed up, one of them carrying zip ties. 

“My door is open to talk to parents. But the way he did it was not OK,” she said, according to NBC News. “Bringing zip ties to a principal’s office – that’s not OK.”

The other two men did not have children at the school, Vargo said. The student in question, however, was with his father when she was confronted.

“He sat right next to him, and he witnessed all of it. He saw the threats. He saw the aggressiveness. He saw the large zip ties,” she said. “He saw it all and I felt really, really bad for him.” 

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The men would not leave, and Vargo claims the three men threatened to arrest her. The Tucson police were called over the incident. 

The principal’s decision to tell a student to quarantine is according to county health guidelines for keeping schools open to in-person learning. The men were reportedly angry over exposed students being told to wear masks. 

Police said that a 40-year-old man was cited for trespassing and they were called to help with a “fight brewing.” The man was identified as Rishi Rambaran. Vargo said she and her assistant will both be filing restraining orders against the men. 

One of the men with Rambaran, Kelly Walker, an outspoken conservative, had livestreamed the incident on Instagram, but has since deleted the footage. He did, however, reference the incident on Facebook through his business page, saying no threats were made and a citizen’s arrest was justified. 

The post claims multiple students were told to quarantine and mask after being exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19. The students threw the masks in the trash, and were told they needed to retrieve them and wear them. 

Walker claimed through an email to The Daily Beast that no threats were made and said Rambaran only asked for written documentation of why his son was being ‘pulled’ out of school.

In an Instagram video posted by Walker following the incident, Rambaran says he was “portrayed as a monster” and disputed Vargo’s account of events. 

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