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Wake elementary school gets armed officer after man charged with threatening students

Arthur Kochetkov, 33, of Wake Forest, was charged Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, with communicating threats on Facebook against students at Jones Dairy Elementary School.
Arthur Kochetkov, 33, of Wake Forest, was charged Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, with communicating threats on Facebook against students at Jones Dairy Elementary School.

The Wake County school system has put an armed law enforcement officer back at a Wake Forest elementary school after a man who has been arrested previously for trespassing on campus posted online about slaughtering students.

Arthur Vladimir Kochetkov, 33, of 6212 Tiffield Way in Wake Forest, was arrested Monday and charged with communicating threats via Facebook, according to a statement by Wake Forest police. Kochetkov’s family says he is mentally ill and not a threat to others, but the arrest warrant says Kochetkov threatened on Facebook to physically injure “children of Jones Dairy Elementary.”

Police say Kochetkov is being held at the Wake County jail on a $100,000 secured bond. It was upped from $10,000.

The warrant says Kochetkov, who lives next to the campus, put up a Facebook post saying that he has “amassed an army big enough to slaughter all your Wake Forest kids in their local playground.” The warrant also says the post showed pictures of guns with threatening captions.

The warrant doesn’t say when the post was put online.

In a letter Tuesday to Jones Dairy parents, principal Rob Bendel said that the Wake County school system is once again paying for an armed off-duty officer to patrol the campus during school hours. The school system had briefly paid for an off-duty Wake County sheriff’s deputy to be at the school in June after Kochetkov was charged with trespassing at school, which had triggered a campus lockdown.

“I want to reiterate — this action was taken as a precautionary measure,” Bendel said in the letter. “The person who made the threat is in custody. There is no threat to our school.

“We are staying in close contact with law enforcement to ensure that we are able to respond to any change in the situation.”

It’s unusual for an elementary school in Wake County to have an officer on campus. Armed officers are typically placed at middle schools and high schools.

In June, Kochetkov’s family insisted he’s not a threat to students and staff at the school. They said the former U.S. Army veteran was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Arthur Kochetkov with his nephew. Photo by Vadim Kochetkov

“My brother is not a threat,” Vadim Kochetkov, Arthur’s brother, said in June. “He’s not acted out violently toward or expressed any desire to act violently toward kids or schools or school officials.”

Vadim Kochetkov said in June that the sometimes violent statements his brother makes online are symptoms of his brother’s mental illness and include streams of consciousness and conspiratorial thinking toward authority figures. Vadim Kochetkov says his brother has never acted out violently and has no access to firearms.

A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.

T. Keung Hui: 919-829-4534, @nckhui
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