• Dad's joke about Conn. shooting lands him in jail

    By: Mike Petchenik


    ROSWELL, Ga. - Roswell police said a man's comment about the Connecticut school massacre at a local day care landed him in jail.

    Scott Baluss is facing disorderly conduct charges stemming from the Monday incident at the Discovery Point day care on Old Alabama Road. Police said Baluss came to the school wearing a surgical mask over his mouth and asked about security procedures there.

    He made the statement: "Don't worry, I'm not going to pull the Connecticut thing here," and then started laughing, said Roswell Police Officer Lisa Holland. "It's an unintentional threat. He caused fear in these employees."

    Baluss told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik he was wearing the mask because he had the flu and didn't want to spread germs, and that he came to the school to inquire about enrolling his 2-year-old son there.

    "I didn't see that I was any kind of terrorist or that I was disturbing their peace," he told Petchenik.

    Baluss admits he made a comment about the Connecticut shooting, but in the context of allaying any suspicions about his intentions requesting information about the school's security.

    "Looking back on it, the verbiage I used was probably a little off because I didn't specifically say I'm not a terrorist," he said.

    He told Petchenik Roswell officers arrived shortly after he left the school with the enrollment paperwork and began aggressively questioning him. He said he felt wrongly arrested.

    "Right off the bat, they're treating me like a criminal," he said. "I feel like they should have done more and they should have been a little more inquisitive about the situation and about me as a person."

    Roswell police told Petchenik, in light of the tragedy in Newtown, the off-color joke wasn't just off base, it was also criminal.

    "To them, they were in fear and felt threatened by that statement," said Holland. "The officer did what was appropriate for that situation."

    Next Up:

  • Headline Goes Here

    Dad's joke about Conn. shooting lands him in jail

  • Headline Goes Here

    Residents left to pick up the pieces after tornado touched down in Georgia

  • Headline Goes Here

    Residents worry proposed project to ease traffic will ruin their community

  • Headline Goes Here

    Tornado touchdown confirmed in South Fulton County neighborhood

  • Headline Goes Here

    'Scariest time of my life' Family's home ripped apart during tornado