Police arrest man with large knife near Kamiakin High School

Police arrest man with large knife near Kamiakin High School
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Neighbors near Kamiakin High School got an alarming wake-up call when police arrested a man with a large knife.

But the story unfolded in the strangest way, when Kennewick Police discovered their victim was really their suspect.

When Christian Williams saw his friend Monday morning, he says he knew Caleb Wartman was on back on meth.

"That's him all day. Like 24 hours a day for a week--just everywhere. I just think it's the first time he's been caught," Christian says.

Christian lives on North Buchanan Street in Kennewick. It's right near the spot where officers arrested 20 year old Wartman. But the trouble started over at Kamiakin High School.

Wartman asked a student if he could use his phone. He called 911 to say he'd been stabbed.

Police say the entire situation happened in the area right across the street from Kamiakin High School. When police tried to make contact with the man, he fled across the railroad tracks, hopped a fence, and possibly hurt himself on the way down.

The incident unfolded as kids were arriving for classes. Combine that with police cruisers littering the neighborhood and police searching for a someone with a knife, parents had a right to be worried.

Reporter: "If there was a dangerous person in the area, school should have been locked down. Why was school not locked down?"

Officer Chris Buroker: "Like I said, it was a very confusing about the general location of this individual. Some of the kids were here -- but school hadn't started yet, the safety concern was really the kids coming to school."

Officers later figured out Wartman hadn't been stabbed at all. And he was the one caught with a knife.

Dale Jacques says this part of town is going downhill:

"The kids carry knives here. Young kids up to eleven years old carrying knives with them. I mean, they have no authority, they don't care about no one. It's gone to hell and it shouldn't be like that."

Dale hopes this arrest springs a greater improvement to the area.

Police say the only injury Wartman suffered was a bruise on his ribs.
They say it was most likely from him jumping fences.