Suspected marijuana cookies in school leads to staffer's gun arrest

Police investigating a Baltimore schools staffer in connection with students who were sold cookies laced with marijuana arrested him after searching his home and finding a handgun, court records show.

Clyde Tatum, 40, of the 2800 block of Lake Ave., is being held on $350,000 bond on charges of being a felon in possession of a handgun, according to police.

The Sun reported last week that several students at the Reach! Partnership School, which serves students in sixth through 12th grade in Northeast Baltimore, had been taken to a local hospital as a precaution after ingesting cookies laced with suspected marijuana.

Police wrote in charging documents that officers were investigating Tatum, a support staff member at the school, in connection with the cookie incident, which led them to his residence. A .38 caliber revolver was on a fireplace mantle within reach of his children, police said.

Tatum, according to police and charging documents, has convictions from 1999 for handgun possession and 1996 for cocaine possession. A phone number listed in public records for Tatum was disconnected, and an attorney was not listed in court records.

The chief executive officer of Reach!, Dion V. Wright of Civic Works, said school officials were aware of Tatum's record and he said he cleared the city schools' background check. He said officials consider the facts and circumstances of someone's prior record.

"We did take into account that these occurred 13 or 14 years ago," he said. He declined to comment on the arrest.

Tatum was not charged in connection with the cookie incident and Sgt. Sarah Connolly, a police spokeswoman, said that investigation is continuing.

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