Vail principal receiving death threats following viral incident with upset parent

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 9:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The principal at a Vail elementary school says she is getting death threats after an encounter with an angry parent and others.

The story now has people talking all across the country.

This is an email sent to Mesquite Elementary School principal Diane Vargo: “The next time it will be a barrel pointed at your Nazi face. Following the guidance you say? The Nazis were just following orders too. Guess we will have to see what side you choose. The Americans or the Nazis. Remember Tucson is a small community and you have a target on your back for enforcing unlawful orders.”

This was send following an encounter yesterday. A parent came into her office upset about the quarantine policy being enforced, set in place by the Pima County Health Department. It requires those who have come in contact with a COVID positive person to quarantine.

“About 15 minutes later two more men barged into my office, just walked right in and one of them had a phone out and was recording everything again and then the other man was standing in my doorway with military grade back zip ties in his hands,” said Vargo.

The men claimed they were prepared to make a citizen’s arrest of the principal with those zip ties. It’s all shown in a video that’s now been deleted from the original poster’s social media. That man is known in the community to be outspoken against vaccines and mask mandates.

But the father involved also claimed the school forced his son to put a mask on that was in a trash can. KOLD asked Vargo about this.

“He was asked to put on a mask, he wasn’t forced. And he was eating and he actually never did put on a mask,” Vargo said.

Tucson Police tell us they did end up making an arrest following this incident. 40-year-old Rishi Rambaran was arrested, cited and released for trespassing. We’re told the investigation is ongoing.

As for how the school will move forward, Vargo says nothing will change.

“I am confident in saying that their child is safe at our school and that we will continue to follow those guidelines from the Pima County Health department and stay the course,” said Vargo.

Vargo also says the school plans to file restraining orders for all three men involved in the incident.

KOLD News 13 has reached out to two of those men. One declined an interview and the other has not responded to messages and phone calls.

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