Police arrest man for allegedly threatening Forest Park Elementary in Eastpointe

By: Brian Wells, Maria Allard | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 14, 2023




EASTPOINTE — Desmond Jamal Parks, 29, of Detroit, was arraigned April 11 in the 38th District Court for allegedly making threats against Forest Park Elementary School.

At approximately 8:10 a.m. April 10, Eastpointe police were dispatched to Forest Park Elementary School for a report of death threats being made. According to a press release from the Eastpointe Police Department, Parks allegedly called the school and stated that he was going to “shoot the school up.”

Parks also threatened to shoot students if the school didn’t keep them on the bus, according to the press release. At 8:54 a.m., he allegedly called the school again, stating he had shot his girlfriend in Eastpointe.

Officers arrived and placed the school into lockdown. They then stood by until parents were able to pick up their children at nearby Eastpointe Middle School. Once Forest Park had been emptied, several K-9 units from police departments in Hazel Park, Sterling Heights, Southfield and Farmington Hills searched the school with negative results, according to the release.

According to Eastpointe police, detectives were able to develop Parks as a suspect and conducted surveillance at his home in Detroit. When he left his home, Eastpointe police said, he was taken into custody without incident. The home was searched, and several items of “evidentiary value” were recovered; however, no weapon was located, according to the release.

Officers believe that Parks may be involved with the same types of threats and behaviors in other communities, according to the press release.

According to a press release from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office April 14, Parks has a friend whose child attends the school; however, he has no relation to the child.

Parks is charged with false report or threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony, and false report of a felony, a four-year felony. Additionally, Parks was arraigned on the same day in the same court on charges of aggravated stalking, a five-year felony; using computers to commit a crime, a one-year felony; and intentional dissemination of sexually explicit visual material, a 93-day misdemeanor, all for a separate incident.

Parks is being held in the Macomb County Jail on a $1 million cash or surety bond for the false report or threat of terrorism charge; a $25,000 cash or surety bond for the aggravated stalking charge; and a $15,000 cash or surety bond for the false report of a felony charge. If released, he will be required to wear a GPS tether, and other bond conditions include that he must undergo a mental health evaluation, have no contact with the school and have no internet access. He is scheduled to appear in court before 38th District Court Judge Kathleen Galen for a probable cause conference April 25.

At press time, Parks did not have an attorney listed.

“Let it be noted that we will use every resource we have to protect our children,” Eastpointe Public Safety Director George Rouhib stated in the police press release. “Any threat or tacit threat that is made to harm someone will be treated as a credible threat, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is not a game. Your actions will change your life forever.”

The police press release, which was posted to the department’s Facebook page April 10, stated that the school was safe for students and faculty to return. Rouhib also instructed patrol officers to station a car at the school before and after school hours for at least a week following the incident.


Eastpointe Community Schools responds to the emergency
On the afternoon of April 10, Eastpointe Community Schools Communications and Marketing Coordinator Caitlyn Kienitz issued a news release on the incident.

Multiple threats by telephone were made against the school prior to 8:09 a.m. Staff immediately notified law enforcement and placed the building on lockdown, per the district’s emergency response plan.

According to the release, Eastpointe police responded immediately and proceeded to secure the school building and the neighborhood. Staff and students who had already arrived at the school were safely transported to Eastpointe Middle School.

Parents were contacted and were able to pick up their children from Eastpointe Middle School. School at Forest Park was closed for the day while authorities continued their investigation.

“Eastpointe Community Schools is grateful to our Forest Park administration and secretaries, as well as the Eastpointe Police Department, for their quick response,” the news release states. “We take threats made against our staff and students very seriously. No child should ever be afraid to come to school, and it is our duty to ensure the safety of all members of our learning community.”

School officials encourage parents, students and community members to call the police or use the state’s OK2Say system to report any information regarding any threat to schools.

With OK2Say, anyone can report tips confidentially on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees or schools. Call 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729), text 652729 (OK2SAY) or email OK2SAY@mi.gov.

At press time, it was unclear if the Forest Park students will have to make up the day.