Erie High student charged with trying to disarm officer
By Ed Palattella
By Tim Hahn
Posted Sep 9, 2019 at 2:13 PM
Updated at 6:08 AM
Student, 20, also accused of punching behavior specialist in the face after acting out in gym class on Friday.
A 20-year-old student at Erie High School was arrested on Friday on charges that he grabbed the gun of an Erie School District police officer after punching a behavior specialist in the face during an incident in a gym class earlier that day.
The defendant, Mustefa F. Kalin, is accused of pulling at the holstered gun “for approximately two seconds” as the police officer wrestled Kalin to the floor while trying to arrest him, according to the affidavit of probable cause that school district police filed in the case.
When another police officer later asked Kalin why he tried to take the other officer’s gun, Kalin’s “eyes grew wide and watery and he stated, ‘I shoot. I shoot,’” according to the affidavit.
Kalin is accused of trying to disarm the district police officer, Jordan Medvec, who swore out the charges against Kalin, and injuring Medvec and the behavior specialist, Rob Matz, who is also Erie High’s head football coach.
Matz suffered injuries to his back, shoulder and left eye, and Kalin pushed Medvec, according to the affidavit of probable cause, which Medvec wrote.
Kalin was taken from Erie High to the Erie police station shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Friday and arraigned three hours later on 10 charges. They are one count each of disarming a police officer as a third-degree felony and resisting arrest as a second-degree misdemeanor, and two counts each of aggravated assault as a second-degree felony, simple assault as a second-degree misdemeanor, disorderly conduct as a third-degree misdemeanor and harassment as a summary.
Erie 2nd Ward District Judge Paul Urbaniak arraigned Kalin and jailed him on Friday on $25,000 bond, which a bail bondsman posted for Kalin on Monday, according to court records. Kalin’s preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 3 before Erie 6th Ward District Judge Timothy Beveridge, whose jurisdiction includes Erie High.
Most students graduate from Erie High on time, or around the age of 18. But students who do not graduate on time can be enrolled in high school in Pennsylvania until the end of the school term of the year in which they turn 21. The criminal complaint does not indicate why Kalin was an older student at Erie High.
The Erie School District cannot comment on the details of the incident due to student privacy rules, district spokeswoman Erica Erwin said. But the district said training and safeguards prevented the student from getting the officer’s gun.
“Our officers are fully trained in best practices of weapon retention,” the district said in a statement that Erwin released. “The holsters they wear are equipped with locking mechanisms that prevent any unauthorized person from taking possession of the officer’s weapon.
“We are committed to the safety of our staff, students and building visitors and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who assaults an officer or staff member or who attempts to disarm an officer in any way,” the statement said.
Before the incident with Matz, the behavior specialist, Kalin “engaged in tumultuous behavior around other students in gym class,” according to the affidavit of probable cause. At 12:16 p.m., Matz radioed to the school district police for help in the gym, the affidavit said. Medvec, the police officer, said he arrived to find Matz restraining Kalin, who Matz said had punched him in the face.
Medvec wrote that he started to escort Kalin to the principal’s office when Kalin pushed Medvec’s chest and slapped at Medvec’s arms. Medvec wrote that he grabbed Kalin’s chest and abdomen and pulled him to the floor to arrest him. Kalin, he wrote, stood up, reached around Medvec and grabbed at his gun for about two seconds before another school district police officer arrived and helped Medvec handcuff Kalin.
Another police officer then arrived at the scene and questioned Kalin about why he tried to take Medvec’s gun.
Ed Palattella can be reached at 870-1813 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNpalattella.
Tim Hahn can be reached at 870-1731 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNhahn.