Man arrested for punching girls at high school basketball game, police say

CORINA, Calif. (KTLA) – A 39-year-old convicted felon was arrested Thursday after allegedly punching three female athletes during a girls’ basketball game in Corina, California, and threatening students with a gun, police said.

The incident was reported around 8:35 p.m. Jan. 24, after a fight broke out during a basketball game between Centennial High School and Santiago High School.

Witnesses told police that two students from both teams were involved in a fight on the court. Video obtained by Nexstar’s KTLA shows the man — said to be a player’s stepfather — leaping into the fray and throwing punches.

By the time he was restrained, the suspect had allegedly punched three girls, one of whom was just 14, police said.

The man left the gym and witnesses heard him mention he was getting a gun, according to a news release from the Corona Police Department. That’s when the suspect walked to the parking lot, retrieved the gun from his car, and then pointed the gun at several students and threatened to shoot them before driving away, police said.

The suspect was eventually identified as Thaddis Brooks of Perris, California. He had previously been convicted of making criminal threats and felony narcotics charges, officials said.

Officers found no gun after searching Brooks’ home, but authorities found more than 40 dogs on his property, police said.

Brooks now faces charges of willful harm of a child, making terrorist threats, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

As far as the dogs, authorities later said that Brooks is a licensed breeder and that the animals — mastiffs, cane corsos and bulldogs — are in good condition.

Brooks is being held on $350,000 bail.

The Corona-Norco School District said it will enact new safety measures at athletic events after the violent incident.

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