Police Seeking Criminal Complaint Against Stratton School Dad

The father allegedly displayed his gun license during an argument with the school’s principal Wednesday, June 4.

Stratton Elementary School in Arlington. Patch file photo.
Stratton Elementary School in Arlington. Patch file photo.

Arlington Police formally sought a criminal complaint Tuesday against the Stratton Elementary School father who allegedly displayed his gun license during an argument with the school’s principal Wednesday, June 4.

Police charged 40-year-old Robert Goodwin, of Arlington, with a misdemeanor, making verbal threats to commit an assault, in Cambridge District Court. Police did so after completing their investigation and conferring with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, according to a release.

A probable cause hearing will be held before a clerk magistrate next week, police said.

“The Arlington Police Department takes very seriously any threats made on school grounds or against school officials,” Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said in a statement. “This philosophy applies at all times, even when the school day is over.

“In this day and age, we cannot ignore any threat.”

According to police, Goodwin became agitated during a meeting with Stratton School Principal Michael Hanna Wednesday afternoon. During the argument, he removed a Massachusetts License to Carry Firearms from his wallet, showed it to Hanna and made references to owning firearms, police said. 

According to the release, “There were no threats made against students or any other faculty at any time. However, the totality of the circumstances, including the alleged threat to the principal, have led police to seek the criminal complaint.”

In addition to the complaint, Goodwin remains barred from school grounds (besides drop-off and pick-up), and his gun license remains suspended. Police seized Goodwin’s hunting rifle Friday.

Goodwin has said the confrontation was over a drawing by his son, which the principal thought was “very inappropriate.”

“During that discussion I compared my legally owned license to carry firearms with the picture that my son drew,” he told CBS Boston.

Goodwin said he plans to transfer his son from the school and said he never threatened anyone.

Police had additional uniformed officers at the school after the incident.


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Chris June 11, 2014 at 01:38 PM
First of all no one knows what was said in the meeting EXCEPT the two people in the room. Mr Goodwin admits that his son's drawings in the past have been inappropriate and this was a continuation of an ongoing discussion about that behavior. Mr. Hanna (who is a wonderful principal) decided to call the School Resource (Police) Officer about the last conversation. The police decided if the conversation was considered a threat, the DA's office decided if charges should be brought. The police decided to revoke Mr. Goodwin's gun license after researching his background. Stop blaming Mr. Hanna for doing his job.
Statler June 11, 2014 at 04:07 PM
Police reportedly considered Mr. Goodwin's YouTube videos in their decision. Just shows the Man is always coming down on aspiring rap artists.
Rich H June 11, 2014 at 08:33 PM
does the Massachusetts driver license have a picture of a car on it? no, it has a picture of the driver. Does the Massachusetts LTC have a picture of a gun on it? no, it has a picture of the shooter on it. pulling out a LTC in this case is nothing but a threat to intimidate.
Leanne Fitzgerald June 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM
From what I read and I just read it again - Goodwin said that Hanna insisted that his son was a pervert because of *his* interpretations of the boy's drawings. Goodwin countered that the pictures depicted the minion with a gun. He obviously knows his son a lot better than Hanna. Goodwin pulled his LTC in order to prove to Hanna that he knew the difference between a gun and a penis. It doesn't sound like he threatened Hanna at all. Criminal intent? Are you kidding me? I can't seriously believe that anyone is ok with any town employee talking to a parent or anyone else for that matter - the place and the way that Hanna chose to discuss Goodwin's son with him. That seems to be lost on some of you. God forbid any of us stand up for our kids, our parents gravesites, our right to park in front of our houses, our right to question who moves into our neighborhoods, the way in which some elected officials operate outside the rules, etc, etc, etc. In a New York minute either the APD, the BoS or God knows what other Goons of the Town of Arlington will be on you like a dog on a bone. Enjoy living in your Stepford Wives Lives for now - because if things keep going the way they are going - it's all going to go to hell in a hand basket and it's not going to take very long.
Molly Johnson June 12, 2014 at 09:12 AM
Hmmm....looks like an overreaction on top of an overreaction. Hopefully, by the time the hearing rolls around everyone will have realized that and all charges will be dismissed.


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