Deputies: School intruder punches elementary school prinicpal on campus

Suspect to appear in Polk Co. court today

LAKELAND, Fla. - Elester Trudell, 42, is scheduled to  make his first appearance in front of a judge Tuesday afternoon. 

He will be answering to charges of battery after he allegedly punched the principal at Oscar J. Pope Elementary School in Lakeland.

Witnesses say Trudell walked into the school around 7:30 Monday morning while students were being dropped off. 

As he went into the main office, witnesses say Trudell was cursing and screaming at employees. 

When the principal of the school, Qvonda Birdsong, 47, tried to ask him what the problem was he started charging her, according to reports.

Polk County deputies say Trudell then hit Birdsong three or four times in the arm as she tried to protect herself. He was eventually arrested without incident and taken to the Polk County jail. 

There is still no word as to why Trudell was in the school, because he isn't the parent of anyone at the school.

The school was on lockdown for a short time until Trudell was removed and Birdsong was not seriously hurt, refusing treatment on the scene, according to deputies.

Trudell is no stranger to the law in Polk County as records show he has been arrested several times for battery, petit theft, forgery, occupied burglary, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries and even battery on a Law Enforcement Officer among other charges.

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