A man who police said was panicked, impaired and later found with methamphetamine persuaded staff to let him inside a vestibule at Tibbets Elementary School, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Walworth County Court.
A teacher said before students arrived the morning of Feb. 19, Christian M. Ellifson, 26, of Dousman and the woman he was with pulled on school doors and yelled that someone was trying to kill them, according to the complaint. Ellifson and the woman also claimed they had been robbed and their car had been stolen.
The two lied to staff to get into the school, which is located in the town of Sugar Creek in the Elkhorn Area School District, the complaint states.
Superintendent Jason Tadlock said district schools have double-buzzed entrances. That means Ellifson and the woman entered one locked door and were in a vestibule without access to the rest of the school.
Prosecutors charged Ellifson with possession of meth, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was also charged with disorderly conduct.
As of Thursday morning, the woman had not been charged. She was not arrested at the time of the incident, although a sheriff’s office official said authorities are referring charges to the district attorney’s office.
Sheriff’s deputies first responded to a report of two “disorderly subjects that were arguing with other customers” at a gas station on County A in the town of Sugar Creek, the complaint states.
A clerk said Ellifson and a woman were also trying to steal bottles of aerosol air freshener, according to the complaint.
The teacher said she was driving on County A and saw Ellifson and the woman in the road screaming and trying to stop passing cars, according to the complaint.
The teacher parked in the Tibbets Elementary School parking lot, saw the two pulling on the doors and brought them into the main entryway, according to the complaint.
Deputies then arrived at the school lobby and noted that Ellifson had small pupils and looked as if he were drooling, according to the complaint. He kept putting his hands in his pockets and exaggerating his movements, the complaint states.
Deputies said Ellifson had marijuana pipes, a metal grinder, a container of unidentified pills and a gem bag that tested positive for meth, the complaint states.
Judge Phillip Koss on Feb. 20 ordered Ellifson held on a $1,000 cash bond, court records show. Conditions of that bond say Ellifson cannot contact the gas station or Tibbets Elementary School.
He is due in court for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Monday, March 4.