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Vail principal calls police to remove unruly group

Police: One arrested in incident
Posted at 1:44 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 15:04:26-04

This story originally included the incorrect school district for Mesquite Elementary School.

A school principal called Tucson police after a group of adults initially refused to leave her office following a meeting, a Vail Unified School District spokeswoman said.

According to VUSD's Darcy Mentone, the incident stemmed from a positive test for COVID-19 at Mesquite Elementary School, 9455 E. Rita Road. The school reported the case to Pima County Health Department, which required the school to provide the names of anyone in close contact with the person.

Pima County Health determined that some students at the school needed to be quarantined, stopping one of the students from attending a planned field trip.

A local coffee shop owner posted a message on social media saying that the school was breaking the law and violating the parents' rights by not letting their child attend the field trip.

The coffee shop owner, the parents and another community went to the school Thursday. Streaming on Instagram, they showed what they claimed to be "law enforcement grade" zip ties and said they were going to make a citizen's arrest of the principal.

The principal, Diane Vargo, invited the group into her office to talk. After a time, she asked them to leave, and the group at first refused. Vargo called Tucson police. By the time officers had arrived, the group had left.

Tucson police say the incident was reported as a fight brewing. Police arrested a 40-year-old man on a misdemeanor trespassing offense.