September 6, 2023

Tri-North mom arrested for threatening students with gun

Devan Ridgway, WTIU/WFIU News

Devan Ridgway, WTIU/WFIU News

The mother of a Tri-North Middle School student has been arrested and charged with threatening students at a bus stop Aug. 25.

According to a probable cause affidavit signed by Bloomington Police Officer Jacqueline Dilts, Taleah Vaught approached a middle school student who had been having issues with her child. The students had a physical altercation the day before. 

Vaught allegedly yelled at the student to “go get her mama” and when the student did not, Vaught continued to warn against engage physically with her child again. 

Vaught’s child was present for the confrontation, according to the affidavit.

When the handgun was displayed:

At that point, a Bloomington High School North Senior arrived at the bus stop and told Vaught to stop yelling at children, according to the affidavit. 

According to the senior, Vaught replied, “I’ll kill you in these streets,” and displayed a small black handgun.

The bus arrived and Vaught put the handgun back in her sweatpants, according to the senior’s interview with Dilts. Vaught then went to her car with her daughter.

Once on the bus, the middle school student called her mom, Shannon Moore, and told her what happened. A police office met with Moore and interviewed her about the incident at the Bloomington Police Department.

Moore told officer Zachary Weisheit that her child regularly sees Vaught’s child other places, such as the Boys and Girls Club and their apartment complex. Moore told Weisheit that she believed the school had been working to resolve issues between the girls.

Multiple sources confirm handgun present:

School security and administrators interviewed others present at the bus stop that morning; all confirmed that Vaught displayed a handgun but did not point it at anyone.

Vaught’s interview with police:

When police interviewed Vaught over the phone, she said the student she allegedly threatened had been trying to get other girls to jump her daughter on the bus, and her daughter did not feel safe at school.

Vaught said a bus driver related to her daughter informed her of this, which is why she approached the student at the bus stop.

Vaught told Dilts that she approached the student and asked for her mom so they could work out the students’ issues. Vaught told officer Dilts the student refused and then got in her face.

Vaught told Dilts that another girl then approached, and both were yelling at her, so close that she had to shield her daughter from them.

Vaught said she never displayed a firearm, but confirmed her husband owns a small black handgun.

Dilts said in the affidavit that because multiple sources present confirmed that Vaught showed a handgun during a confrontation, she believes Vaught intentionally threatened the students that morning. 

Vaught is being charged with intimidation, a level 5 felony. She has pleaded not guilty. A jury trial is set for Feb. 12.

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