Student brought knife that looks like gun to school, authorities say

A fight, and a knife designed to look just like a gun, caused some chaos at DeLand High School  on Wednesday afternoon. The day ended with a student in jail and a recorded call from the principal to parents.  

“Good afternoon Bulldog families. Today, during lunch, there was a male student who was exiting our campus and made a threat to another student with what appeared to be a gun in his waistband,” the message said, in part.

DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger said students alerted their school resource officer to the trouble.

“There were some students getting ready to fight, and as he approached, one of the individuals approached on foot off away from campus,” said Chief Umberger.  

He said his school resource officer chased after the child.  

“While he was running officers saw that he had thrown and item.”

Deputies found that item, which they they described as a switch-blade knife in a holster.  They grabbed that as evidence and took 19-year-old Craig Denton into custody.  Chief Umberger says while his officer didn’t realize what Denton had tossed, students knew it was a weapon.  

“He learned from other students that they had seen this gun, what they thought was a gun,” Chief Umberger explained.

Police said Denton, who’s a sophomore, is now charged with disrupting a school function, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a weapon on school property.   The principal is praising her students for speaking up.  

“No one was injured and the campus is secure. We are proud of our students who correctly responded by immediately alerting officials. Thank you,” the principal told parents in a recorded message.

Denton’s bond is set at $8,000.  Police have not said what the fight at DeLand High School was about.