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NC man charged with shattering door during school board meeting
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NC man charged with shattering door during school board meeting

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A door to the Career Academy & Technical School where Iredell-Statesville Schools held Monday's meeting was broken by protesters outside in Troutman on Monday.

A door to the Career Academy & Technical School where Iredell-Statesville Schools held Monday's meeting was broken.

The Troutman Police Department arrested a Mooresville man Thursday who is suspected of breaking a glass door at the Iredell-Statesville Schools meeting on Tuesday night.

Michael Bowman turned himself in to police Thursday afternoon and was charged with disorderly conduct by violent conduct and injury to personal property, both misdemeanors. A magistrate set bond at $4,500.

“I highly regret my actions. Things got heated and there was misplaced anger,” Bowman said, according to a police statement. “Nothing like this has ever happened to me before and it never will again. I acted disgracefully to law enforcement and didn’t show them the respect they deserve.”

Protesters objecting to the school system’s mask mandate made up the majority of protesters inside and outside the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night. While some who spoke favored the mask mandate for safety’s sake, many of the protesters said they believe it is a violation of students’ rights and possibly unconstitutional.

Bowman and other protesters outside had been seen slapping the glass door during the meeting, including one woman with a Bible, to show either their agreement or displeasure with what was being said inside. It is believed a ring Bowman was wearing hit the glass and broke it.

According to Troutman police, video and other evidence were used to identify Bowman.

While Bowman wasn’t there when police went to his home, a later phone call with him made him aware of the fact there was a warrant for his arrest.

Troutman Town Manager Ron “Duck” Wyatt said that, while Bowman was remorseful and was arrested without incident, he wanted to make clear that despite the volatile and emotionally charged atmosphere on Tuesday night, protesters needed to be civil and that there would be a zero-tolerance policy for criminal misconduct.

“Everybody wants everybody to be able to voice their point of view regardless of which side it is, but they need to be respectful to each other instead of showing up and yelling and screaming and acting un-adultlike, and that’s the bottom line,” Wyatt said.

Follow Ben Gibson, bgibson@statesville.com, on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL

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