Neighbor, superintendent react to knife incident at Bettendorf school

Local News

26-year-old Kerrie Chapman is charged with going armed with intent and assault.

It started as a rainy morning at Riverdale Heights, but then things quickly turned hectic.

Police say a woman with a knife got out of her car and confronted another parent while kids were walking in the building.

In an email to parents, the Pleasant Valley School Superintendent Brian Strusz says this happened during the morning of drop-off.

He says staff quickly got children inside when a person got out of a car, approached another vehicle and made some kind of threat.

That person, who police say was Chapman, went back to her car after that. Police quickly arrived and arrested her.

Chapman’s neighbor says this is very out of character for her.

“They’ve just always been real nice people,” he said. “We don’t know each other real good, but we say ‘hi.’ They always waved. Always seemed to be happy.”

Strusz says the most important thing was getting all of the kids inside the building safely.

“We called additional staff to come out into the parking lot to make sure that all the kids were coming in,” said Strusz. “Typically, because of COVID, we have them going in different doors, but right away, the teachers knew to have all the kids to come in the main one door and get them in as quickly as possible.”

There was no lockdown from the incident, and he says that’s why they practice drills all the time.

He says it’s very concerning whenever an incident like this happens.

“When we reflect back on every situation with a safety deal, we ask questions to make sure we did things correctly,” said Strusz. “I could not be more proud of the way our staff reacted immediately.”

Strusz believes that this is an isolated incident and hopes that it doesn’t happen again.

“We believe the safety of everyone moving forward will be of the utmost. Moving forward, this won’t be an issue. Its a standalone deal,” said Strusz.

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