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Aug 25, 2011 11:19 PM by Matt Stafford

Coronado students threatened during fundraiser

Coronado football players were participating in a fundraiser that they've done for years -- selling discount cards to make money for their football program -- but on Wednesday night three of the students got a scare.

Police say the three were at 5939 Chokecherry Drive when the man at the home became aggressive towards them. In a report online, Police say the man grabbed one of the Coronado students on the arm. They broke away and ran off, but Police say that 39-year-old Arthur Baldwin chased the three students down the street and fired two shots from a handgun.

Baldwin was arrested Wednesday night and charged with felony menacing as well as illegal discharge of a firearm. He was bonded out of jail on Thursday.

News 5 went knocking on Baldwin's door Thursday evening, trying to get a response from him as to what led to the altercation the night before. No one answered the door.

Neighbors said there has been some activity at the home on Thursday, but not much. Many were shocked to hear what happened.

"We heard a loud boom!" says Charla Schwartz, a neighbor.

Schwartz says it was hard to believe that it came from the house across the street.

"We just met last week and he (Baldwin) seemed like a really nice guy, so I was really surprised," says Schwartz. She says she bought a discount card from the same kids who were chased away from Baldwin's home; she says they were nice and polite.

Schwartz says her children aren't in high school yet, but when they are she's not sure if she'll let them participate in door-to-door fundraisers; she thinks they may not be the best idea anymore.

At District 11, they say they'll continue with the door-to-door fundraiser -- for now.

"This is their biggest fundraiser of the year," says Devra Ashby, with D-11. Ashby says the $7,000 or so that the team brings in each year is a big boost, and says the same is true for other schools across the district and the state that do the same.

"(The students) are trained ahead of time when they go out; they don't go into the houses, but the do knock on the doors and they do sell the discount cards," says Ashby. She adds that the kids don't have to participate if they don't want to.

For parents like Deborah Tuxhorn -- whose son goes to Coronado -- she says this incident makes her worried that these fundraisers aren't safe, but her feelings are mixed because she knows school districts are hurting for money.

"Oh sure, there's always a doubt, but I do know the fundraising is so necessary," says Tuxhorn.

An interesting addition to the story; district officials say Baldwin did buy a card from the students before the altercation, but they aren't sure what caused the incident to become violent.

Tuxhorn says it may be a good idea for parents and the district to look for other options when it comes to fundraising.

 

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