ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Editor's Note: The following story contains information about what authorities are describing as an attempted suicide at a local elementary school. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
An elementary school custodian tried to die by suicide at Connerton Elementary in Land O’Lakes, forcing him to be Baker Acted and arrested for bringing a weapon on school property, authorities say.
Alec Roarks, 27, of Dade City resigned on Wednesday, the same day he was arrested, according to school district records.
Incident reports show sheriff’s deputies and first responders dispatched to the school before 3 p.m. on Oct. 8. There, they found Roarks being held by school employees after reportedly trying to stab himself. Roarks was Baker Acted and taken to the hospital for treatment. He was arrested by sheriff’s deputies after being released on Oct. 16.
“Our armed school safety guard and school principal were notified immediately and were at the location of the incident within seconds,” a school district spokesperson told 10News in an email. “The sheriff’s office and EMS responded and secured the scene within minutes.”
Parents, meanwhile, were notified with a recorded phone call from the school’s principal, Kelly Edwards.
“Hello parents, this is Mrs. Edwards calling to let you know that Fire Rescue responded to the school this afternoon and transported an adult to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” Edwards said in the call. “All of our students are fine. I know that some parents saw the ambulance, so I wanted to reach out to you and provide you with this information. Thank you and have a good night.”
The situation wasn’t the first alleged incident involving Roarks on school grounds in the last year. According to a Pasco County Schools disciplinary report, the district recommended a three-day suspension without pay after Roarks reportedly admitted to drinking Everclear and taking prescription medications while at work in December 2018.
Roarks submitted his letter of resignation to the school district the same day he was arrested.
10News Cares: If you ever feel alone, there is help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
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