Video released of ROTC assault suspect fighting with officers


by Andrew Michalscheck

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM

MESA, Ariz. -- A 25-year-old man is facing numerous charges after police said he attacked students at Mesa High School Wednesday morning and later assaulted officers while being booked into jail.

Mesa police said members of the Junior ROTC were raising the flag outside the school when Ceaser Ruben Meraz rushed the group and attacked them.

Three students suffered injuries ranging from bruises to stitches in what the school is calling a random act of violence.

Police said Meraz waited near campus after the attack and was located by the school's resource officer.

Meraz reportedly admitted to assaulting the students, telling the resource officer that he "felt like getting in a fight."

The officer cited Meraz for the altercation and had him transported to his home where he was released from custody.

The officer's chain of command was made aware of the incident later in the day and Meraz was taken back into custody.

Meraz assaulted a police officer and a detention officer while being booked into jail, according to spokesman Sgt. Tony Landato.

“The subject just punched him,” said Sgt. Landato. “He ended up assaulting one of our detention officers and another officer who came to the aide of the detention officer.”

Meraz faces charges of four counts of misdemeanor assault, one count of disrupting an educational institution, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of criminal trespass, one count of aggravated assault on a peace officer and one count of aggravated assault on a detention officer.

Kent Ellis, whose son was one of the victims, said schools need to be more aware about who is walking on campus.

"I think people should be aware that people can walk onto these campuses and we should have people there," Ellis said. "Adults, not necessarily police officers, but adults when activities for these kids are going on."