Coats facing three felony charges

Armed man who broke into Pierce School has more hearings scheduled

By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Brian Coats, the 30-year-old Kentucky man who was arrested Jan. 6 near Pierce School with multiple firearms in his possession, underwent a felony arraignment last week and has another pre-preliminary hearing on Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m. in Ridgecrest.

Coats was seen “acting erratically” on the Pierce Campus early on the morning of his arrest before students arrived to school according to a statement from Pierce Principal Pam Barnes.

Video shows Coats breaking into the school while armed and stealing several mundane objects,according to the Ridgecrest Police Department.

“Why an armed man broke into a school to steal a trash can, a half-circle table and a school desk – I have no idea,” said Sgt. Ron Bell of the RPD. “I’ve been a police officer for 29 years and I have no idea.”

Coats also had two rifles in his vehicle when he was arrested. He is still being held in the Bakersfield Central Receiving Facility with bail set at $50,000. He is facing three felony charges of possessing an assault rifle and having a firearm at a public school and several misdemeanors including carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, trespassing, vandalism and petty theft.

Story First Published: 2017-01-13