North Middle School suspect charged with attempted kidnapping
The suspect allegedly involved with Tuesday’s incident at North Middle School has been charged with attempted kidnapping, a felony.
Tony Ground, 14, of Great Falls made his initial appearance in Cascade County Youth Court on Wednesday.
Court documents say Ground approached the female teacher while she was working on the computer in her classroom after school. The report says Ground grabbed the teacher from behind, across her face, while holding a tissue. The affidavit indicates the teacher was injured in some manner by the force of Ground’s grip.
The teacher was able to break free from Ground’s grip, the document says, and Ground ran away at that time. The affidavit says school resource officers with the Great Falls Police Department did a systematic search while the school was on lockdown.
Officers were able to locate the suspect’s backpack using video surveillance cameras. The report says Ground threw the backpack in a trash can, and it contained the sweatshirt and ski mask he was reportedly wearing, along with belts, a neck tie, strips of fabric and photographs of females being tied up and forcibly restrained.
Ground was identified in the security video by Detective Aaron Frick, school resource officer assigned to North Middle School. The report says he was recorded putting on the mask and entering the teacher’s classroom.
Frick said this student has not been on his radar for bad behavior, making the incident especially surprising. Based on information in court documents, Frick said this is a serious incident warranting serious consequences.
“I don’t think it was a prank by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.
Ground was located in his after school study class and placed into custody. The affidavit says Ground and a parent spoke with investigators, and Ground first denied his involvement, but later admitted to the planning and executing the attack on the teacher. He was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center after his arrest.
His bond was set at $50,000 during his court appearance.