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'Joke' brings police rushing to high school

Original post made on Feb 21, 2013

The Mountain View High School senior who caused a stir by wearing camouflage fatigues and a gas mask to school on Valentine's Day was described by one of his teachers as a "musical genius" and "wonderful kid" who had "no clue of the ramifications of what he did."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 21, 2013, 12:09 PM

Comments (20)

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Posted by sean
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Now the story makes a lot more sense then when first posted- obviously all the facts weren't known. Sounds like he just made a mistake and was trying to be funny, when kids or young adults act spontaneous without thinking it threw bad stuff can happen. I hope karma and all the good things he has done will be taken into consideration and charges will be dropped or the penalty wont require him to be expelled from the school.

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Posted by Mr. Nice
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 21, 2013 at 1:48 pm

He should be punished, a lengthy prison sentence would suffice.[Portion removed.]

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Posted by K
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Sounds like he might have aspergers. With understanding those with autism and aspergers get along fine.

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Posted by Threatening Demeanor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm

The story I heard was that the officers almost immediately told the boy that "if you had walked out of the classroom with that gas mask on, we would have shot you dead".

Sounds like maybe both sides had a threatening demeanor. (This is after the police knew he had no weapons and he had been happily playing his instrument in the class for several minutes).

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Posted by Forgive him
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I was all for locking him up for life when I first heard about it. Now that I've heard the details it is more understandable. If the teachers know him and defend him that is good enough for me.

I have a step-brother that is a bit off and has done some not well thought out things while we were growing up, but he is not dangerous. For that matter, I suppose I too have done some things I'm not proud of. I think he should be forgiven. He doesn't fit the "profile" of a mass murderer in my humble opinion.

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Posted by cooler head prevail
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Did Sgt. Sean Thompson include both sides of the conversation? The story I heard was that the police were not interviewing Chris, one officer was repeatedly shouting "... stupid kids...I could have shot you in the head with an AR-15..." and after hearing this multiple times, Chris snapped back. While I can understand everyone being amped up in the heat of the moment, I would have expected the police to be a calmer voice of reason instead of escalating the situation.

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Posted by Remember
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

It seems no one read the earlier story that said this
kid did the same thing a couple months ago and was warned
by the police not to dress like that

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Posted by cooler head prevail
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Simply not true - it was not Chris.

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Posted by sean
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Remember "Meanwhile, a number of patrol officers said they remembered encountering a similarly dressed individual some months ago. Using that information, officers were able to determine their suspect was likely a student. School resource officers approached the 18-year-old in class and he confessed to being the suspect."

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Posted by cooler heads prevail
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Feel free to check with the MVPD - the "similarly dressed individual" was not Chris.

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Posted by Wo\'O Ideafarm
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

(1) Only a few days before (I think) this incident happened, I was walking along Middlefield Road with a sign. My path took me past a school. An hour later, I was about a half mile away and was standing surrounded by MVPD officers, who were making a big deal out of the fact that I had been "at a school" with my sign. My reading of the situation at the time was that the MVPD officers were trying as hard as they could to twist an obviously lawful act, me walking along a street, into something that they could use as a pretext to arrest me or file a complaint. When I read the story about Chris Egerton, the two events together seemed to indicate that MVPD has coached its officers into a frenzy of hair trigger readiness for a "terrorist at school" incident. It's almost as if they WANT such an incident to occur, in that they are so hyped up about being ready for it. Kind of an "all dressed up but no place to go" situation.

This is the kind of thing that happens when you allocate WAY TOO MUCH MONEY to your local policing agency.

(2) I note in the above story that MVPD's rationale for arresting Chris Egerton has changed. Neither rationale justifies the arrest. It was a false arrest. MVPD had no lawful authority to even cuff Egerton, much less to arrest him. Presenting a threatening demeanor to a peace officer is, without more, not illegal and is protected by the First Amendment. Males that have not been effeminized naturally present a threatening demeanor to everyone they meet, every waking moment of their day. It is the natural default state of their facial expression and their attitude.

It will be interesting to count how many more times MVPD's rationalization for placing Egerton under arrest changes as they grope for solid ground that they can stand on to prevent a civil rights lawsuit. MVPD operates as if it is above the law, as if it IS THE LAW. This is because MVPD is indeed the law due to the rubber stamping nature of the corrupt Superior Court of Santa Clara County.

All of this government corruption is ON YOU, dear people, because it is you who declare with your votes that you want to be SAFE AT ALL COSTS and in particular that you care nothing for BEING FREE.

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 22, 2013 at 6:04 am

Mr. Ideafarm has neatly reminded us all of the old adage that "even a stopped clock is right twice a day." His last paragraph is quite true, although he seems to miss the greater irony: America has become a siege state with open borders. TSA goons at airports, bus stations, train stations, military exercises routinely conducted in urban areas, trigger-happy cops killing family dogs EVERYWHERE in bogus no-knock raids, all of the downsides of the old Soviet Union minus the upside of free health care, and MILLIONS of alien invaders swarming across our southern border to cram themselves six to a room into overpriced rental units owned by Chinese nationals.

America in 2013 is proof that George Orwell should've dropped acid before he wrote 1984.

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Posted by Eleanor Roosevelt
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2013 at 11:26 am

Ben i'm pretty sure our border is as secure as ever, yes we have laws and policies that give foreigners opportunities to live an American Dream because much of the world still believes in it. 911 changed our world forever and yes security is ridiculous but the enemy is smart, so we have to be smarter.

And, Ideafarm do really believe all tthe stuff you type? Seriously?

"MVPD officers were trying as hard as they could to twist an obviously lawful act, me walking along a street, into something that they could use as a pretext to arrest me or file a complaint"

..And you wonder WHY? Who do you think YOU are? Nelson Mandela?

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Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm

For all those saying the police over reacted in interviewing the kid, we actually have no idea. A couple of people say stuff like "the story I heard..." which means nothing. You may have heard wrong. Most "stories you hear" are quite wrong in the details. Maybe the police DID overreact in shouting at him. OR, maybe the officer just said "Jeez kid, what were you thinking?! If we saw you like that with the mask at the time and determined you were a threat to the kids we might have shot you!" That is not a threat, it is pointing out a fact. So we find out more and decide the kid might not have been all that hostile, but without finding out more you automatically believe that the police WERE all that hostile. That shows your own bias more than anything else.

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Posted by 30yr MV Resident
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm

30yr MV Resident is a registered user.

I am so disappointed in our police department. They "Admonish" him to the point to where he loses his temper. I think letters to the police chief, mayor, and council members are in order. The police should have acted more professionally. Maybe the police officer conducting the interview should not have been an officer with elevated levels of adrenaline. Maybe an officer that wasn't on the front lines with an AR-15. Maybe the officer should have talked to Robin Cramer, or the principal first. Maybe an officer that conducts an interview should be capable of empathy, able to see a situation from the suspects perspective. This failure of our police department may have trashed the future of one of Mountain Views brightest stars.

I want to know the names of the officers that conducted this interview. I assume this is public information.

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Posted by cooler heads prevail
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Ron you make a very reasonable point - no question about it; hearsay is simply hearsay. However, since the police deemed it appropriate to paint a very one sided picture, I thought it only fair to present the other side and although I don't expect you to believe, I trust my source. Let's assume the police were calmly explaining to Chris why his actions were inappropriate and Chris retorted "Go ahead and (expletive) shoot me in the head." Personally I don't see that happening, but hypothetically, if it did, how does this constitute "displaying a "threatening demeanor"? How is this a threat? I'm not condoning Chris's behavior, but this report and subsequent arrest just doesn't seem to add up.

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Posted by Jan Johnston-Tyler
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm

As the mother of an Asperger's son who attended Mountain View High School, and as a counselor working with 'Aspie' teens and adults professionally, I am terribly saddened that this poor young man appears to be a target of "Asperger's Profiling" both by the police and by some misguided teacher.

Mr. Egerton did nothing wrong. His group decided to sing Valentine songs in military gear -- and he had the wonderfully clever antidote to 'Love is in the air' -- a gas mask. Were any of the other kids dressed in military garb stopped, let alone arrested? No. Only the one who some teacher thought was 'weird' and a social misfit.

Not every teen with Asperger's is Adam Lanza, whose acts, while heinous, had far more to do with lack of services, isolation and access to weapons than his Asperger's. Fear of this sort does irreperable harm to those least able to defend themselves, and we as a community need to ensure that we do not harm those whose only 'crime' is being different.

I welcome the Mountain View Police and the teaching and administrative staff of MVLA to come join us at one of our many social groups for Asperger's teens, young adults and adults -- come meet these brilliant, funny people and understand them. They do not need, nor warrant, your fear, but your understanding.


Jan Johnston-Tyler
Founder and CEO, EvoLibri Consulting

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Posted by Nick V
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Feb 25, 2013 at 11:15 am

Nick V is a registered user.

Hello Jan,

I see you have written that a teacher unfairly targeted Chris. I am wondering if you know more about this story than I've been told. I don't think you could be talking about music teacher Robin Kramer, who defends Chris in my article.

If you know something that I don't, please feel free to email me, tell me what you know or suspect, and I can try to investigate. You can reach me at


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

The Mountain View Patch says they arrested him under section 415.5 PC, I think as someone who "uses offensive words within any [school] buildings or upon the grounds which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction". How could they argue that saying "Go ahead and (expletive) shoot me in the head" to a police officer during an interview would provoke an immediate violent reaction without also arguing our police officers are armed thugs with no impulse control?

He made a big mistake in being completely tone-deaf to the concerns around school shootings and another mistake in escalating the situation with the police. The police made a mistake in arresting him and maybe in being unnecessarily confrontational as well. That's plenty of mistakes. I hope the district attorney and school district don't make further mistakes by charging him and expelling him. It would be a long, pointless, expensive battle which they can't win.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of The Crossings

on Sep 24, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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