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Third man faces charges in Mesquite Elementary incident

Mesquite Elementary School
Posted at 12:11 PM, Sep 07, 2021

Editors note: The story previously stated the coffee shop as a "Vail coffee shop" as a general locator of the coffee shop, but the story has since been corrected to use the name of the coffee shop -- Viva Coffee Shop.

A third man faces trespassing charges in an incident in which three men allegedly refused to leave a principal’s office in a Vail school and threatened to put her under citizen’s arrest.

A parent and two other men were protesting that the parent’s child would have to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure, causing the student to miss a field trip.

On Tuesday, Tucson police confirmed that Frank Tainatongo, 48, faces charges including knowingly remaining unlawfully on property.

Charges have also been filed against the parent, Rishi Rambaran, and Kelly Walker, the owner of a Viva Coffee Shop. Walker has organized a series of protests over mask mandates and other COVID restrictions.

They live-streamed video at Mesquite Elementary in the Vail School District. One parent brought plastic zip ties that could be used as handcuffs.

Vail Superintendent John Carruth released this statement to KGUN 9:

I can confirm that we are aggressively pursuing all legal avenues available to us. Their behavior crossed a line and we are doing everything within our power to make sure they are held accountable and that it won’t happen again. The investigation and our communication with law enforcement is still ongoing as such, I’d prefer not to comments on specifics at this time.

All three men are charged with third-degree trespassing. A conviction could lead to a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.

They are scheduled to be arraigned in court Sept. 15.