A Marietta man faces a felony charge after police say he took a shortcut through Sprayberry High School while drunk, carrying a knife, a loaded handgun and a bottle of whiskey Friday afternoon while students were on campus.

Daniel Ryan Caudell, 45, was arrested at the school, at 2525 Sandy Plains Road in Marietta, by Cobb County School District police officers at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 9, records show.

He spent the night in custody at the Cobb County jail before being released on a $4,000 bond Saturday afternoon, facing a felony charge of possessing a weapon at a school and a misdemeanor charge of possessing alcohol at a school.

Caudell’s arrest warrant states the high school went into “lockdown” for over an hour after a teacher noticed Caudell walking through the back of the campus while openly carrying a loaded Glock on his side.

Police say he also had a knife “in excess of two inches long” and two additional 15-round magazines for the handgun, despite not having a license to carry, as well as a 375ml bottle of Old Thompson American whiskey in his pocket.

The Cobb County School District told the MDJ Friday that an intoxicated man entered the school grounds from the sidewalk.

In a letter sent that day to parents, Sprayberry Principal Sara Griffin said the man was confronted by school staff as he arrived on campus and was immediately arrested by school district police when the weapon was found during questioning.

“The incident did not disrupt the school day, at no time were students threatened or in danger,” Griffin wrote in the letter obtained by the MDJ. “The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority and we will continue to remain vigilant in ensuring our campus security.”

David Chastain, chairman of the Cobb school board, represents the post including Sprayberry. He said, from what he understood, the man arrested on campus was taking a shortcut across school grounds, and it was thanks to an “alert employee” and the school resource officer that the incident was handled exactly as it should have been.

“This poor chap just picked the wrong piece of property to take a shortcut on,” Chastain said Friday. “But the guy had no business being on school property.”

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