“He was there because a friend offered help to him: in the form of money or a place to stay,” Thomas J. Wilkie's brother said.
WESTFIELD, NJ — The Delaware man arrested on gun charges in the parking lot of Tamaques Elementary School last week is alleged to have used a school telephone to call a teacher he has a “romantic” relationship with, documents released Thursday show.
Thomas J. Wilkie, 46, of Bear, Delaware, who pleaded not guilty to weapons charges in connection with the June 13 incident, was seen by the school’s principal asking for the teacher he claimed to be in a “romantic relationship with,” police said in the warrant for Wilkie's arrest.
“The defendant had made statements to her that he wished to come stay at her residence, and he had called her from a Tamaques School telephone line at 3:36 p.m.,” police say in the report filed with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. The document does not identify the teacher by name.
Although initial reports did not detail Wilkie’s reasons for being at the school, a report from the New Castle County Police Department in Delaware had told the local police Wilkie was suicidal. There was a “suicidal man in the parking lot operating a black Mitsubishi with Pennsylvania registration who may be armed with a handgun,” the report says.
The criminal complaint filed in the case charges that Wilkie entered Tamaques Elementary School on “multiple occasions … after school hours and without permission.” The complaint states that Wilkie had two loaded magazines in his pockets.
This week, Wilkie’s brother told TAPinto Westfield his brother’s intents were benign.
“In no way, my brother was there to harm anyone,” said Chad Wilkie. “He was there because a friend offered help to him: in the form of money or a place to stay. I will release more to everyone, as I am able to.”
At his initial appearance at Superior Court in Elizabeth Wednesday, Thomas Wilkie's attorney told the judge she intends to have her client evaluated. The attorney, Janice Massasoit, did not contest Thomas Wilkie's ongoing detention.
Asked by a reporter, Wilkie’s father, George, who sat in the rear of the courtroom, declined to comment.
Last week, when approached by police, Thomas Wilkie had admitted to having the Glock 30 handgun, which had nine hollow point rounds in the magazine and one bullet in the chamber, the police report says. Wilkie told officers he was holding it in his lap to disassemble it while parked in the school’s lot, police say.
Officers also found a knife on Wilkie’s person, according to the report. As reported, the officers handcuffed Wilkie while he lay facedown on the ground.
Police searched his 2019 black Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and found three boxes of .45 caliber bullets, two of which were full of 50 “full metal jacket rounds,” police say in the report. “One box contained 20 hollow point rounds with 30 empty spaces,” police say.
Standing before the Town Council this week, Police Chief Chris Battiloro received praise for his leadership.
“You and your officers have done a remarkable thing,” said Councilman Michael Dardia, who noted his son was on the Tamaques School grounds coaching lacrosse during the incident. “I thank you so much.”
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh
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