Greenfield men charged with bringing gun onto school property


David W. Chapman, 48, Greenfield

GREENFIELD — Two local men, a father and son, have been charged with bringing a firearm onto school property from an incident two weeks ago. Law enforcement ended up chasing one of the men while he had a gun in his hand while on the playground of a Greenfield-Central school.

The incident occurred after school hours at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 on the playground at Weston Elementary, officials said.

David W. Chapman, 48, 300 block of Harding Avenue, has been charged with a Level 5 felony count of intimidation and a Level 6 felony count of possession of firearm on school property. Chapman’s son, Joseph Chapman, 20, 300 block of Harding Avenue, is facing a Level 6 felony count of possession of a firearm on school property.

Both men were officially arrested Monday, Sept. 26. David W. Chapman’s case was opened in Hancock County Circuit Court where he had an initial hearing Monday. Judge Scott Sirk entered a not guilty plea and set a $1,500 cash bond.

Joseph Chapman, 20, Greenfield

Joseph Chapman’s case was opened in Hancock County Superior Court 2 this week where an initial hearing was held. Judge Dan Marshall set a $500 cash bond after entering a not guilty plea. Neither man was listed as an inmate in the county jail as of Tuesday, Sept. 27.

According to a probable cause affidavit, officials from the Greenfield Police Department were called to the Weston Elementary School playground area late afternoon, Tuesday, Sept. 13 to check into reports of a person with a gun at Weston Elementary School, 140 Polk Street, Greenfield. The report said the man was threatening to beat up kids, possibly threatening to stab children on the playground, and was threatening to shoot them.

When officers arrived, they noted several children and adults on the playground and a man, later identified as Joseph Chapman, running from the playground. Police went after the man.

“While he was running I saw his left arm moving in a normal running motion, however, his right hand was not,” the officer said in the report. “This appeared to me that he was holding something in his right hand.”

That something was later identified as a gun, officials said in the report.

The affidavit stated, when Joseph Chapman got close to a vehicle he was running toward, he quickly opened the front passenger door and tried to throw a small black object into the front of the vehicle before turning to face officers who were asking him to get on the ground.

The small black object fell from the vehicle onto the ground, officers said in the report. Officers identified the black object on the ground next to the vehicle to be a nylon holster with a black handgun in it.

Officers asked Joseph Chapman why he brought the gun onto school property. According to the report, Joseph Chapman said his dad, later identified as David W. Chapman, brought the gun onto the property and told him to take the gun to the car. Joseph Chapman claimed a man in a car there had threatened to kill him, the report stated.

Joseph Chapman told officials he and a friend were swinging at the playground and listening to music when people came over and began “running their mouth.” Joseph Chapman said he and his friend started walking away, but then stated his dad, David W. Chapman, showed up and that his dad always carries a gun. Joseph Chapman then stated a male had threatened to kill both him and his father, the report stated.

David W. Chapman stated in the report that it was his mistake for telling his son to go put it in the vehicle, the report stated. There are disputed claims in the report from witnesses as to if David W. Chapman ever pulled the gun from the holster when he arrived, the report said.

Both men were criminally trespassed from the school that afternoon and told not to return. Officers then let the two men go. However, they were told officers would be filing a warrant request report for the incident. Officials eventually arrested the two Monday.