Assault and robbery at middle school leads to security increase


Provided by Cindy Ellis

Cards and gifts of support are left in the main office at the middle school. Security at the campus has increased following the robbery and assault that took place on Jan. 2.

by Rose Guan and Meena Gudapati

Police arrested a suspect on Jan. 4 in the assault and robbery of a Harker teacher early on Jan. 2 at the middle school campus on Blackford Avenue.

In a press conference broadcast on Facebook Live at noon on Jan. 5 about the arrest, San Jose Police Department Chief Eddie Garcia announced that Andrew Bracamonte, 23, had been arrested in San Francisco, then transported to the Santa Clara County Jail, where he was booked on multiple criminal charges.

The administration is conducting a review of school security systems to see how the assault and robbery could have been prevented with future adjustments.

“We like to think that we do a pretty good job with security,” Head of School Brian Yager said. “Obviously, this event makes us question that; it rattles us, so we’re caught with this dilemma of feeling like we have things pretty well covered but obviously there’s some concern.”

While the review takes place, school administration has added an extra security guard and implemented earlier start hours for morning security, implemented nighttime patrol and added monitoring along the back fence at the middle school to establish security 24-hours a day.

Though there have not been immediate adjustments made for security on other campuses, the security review will encompass all campuses.

Bracamonte, who resided a half-mile from the middle school campus, had been arrested before. He is not a registered sex offender and he is not currently on parole, according to Garcia. Police believe that the attack was random.

“[The victim] did absolutely nothing wrong,” Garcia said during the press conference. “There’s only one person responsible for this heinous crime.”

Notes of support for the Harker teacher may be left at the front desk in Main at the upper school campus (or at any of the other three Harker campus front desks) and will be delivered to her.

A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up for the teacher, started by Harker parent Sholeh Diba Goetting. The campaign, which opened on Jan. 3, has surpassed its $50,000 goal.

English teacher Patricia Lai Burrows is covering the teacher’s classes during her absence.