A Register Sex Offender Kidnaps Two Children From A DC School

It is shocking to most that hear the story. On October 11th a man followed a woman into Rocketship Rise Academy in Southeast. The woman was getting her child from the school’s aftercare area. The man reportedly walked up to a boy and started playing with him. He did so for about 15 minutes before convincing the boy and his brother to leave with him.

A resource officer feeling that something was not right followed the man. The man was later identified as 30-year-old Antonio Burnside of Southeast. When questioned Burnside claimed that he was the father of the boys and continued to walk out of the school.

The resource officer separated the children from Burnside and detained him for police. The children were not injured.

Court documents show Burnside was involved in another attempted child abduction in 2018. The chargers were later downgraded to sexual abuse of a minor in a plea deal.

The other big shocker was the fact that parents say they were not notified until some two weeks later. Officials at Rocketship say they are grateful that a front office staffer was able to prevent the abduction of two students from their aftercare program. As a result, they are reviewing and stepping up their security procedures to include all guests will have to show ID at all times if they wish to enter the building, even when school is not in session.

The schools’ aftercare program at Rocketship Rise Academy is operated by Springboard Education. That is the same company DC Public Schools terminated this year after a sexual abuse incident at Capitol Hill Montessori School in Logan Circle this summer.

The Deputy Mayor for Education has launched an investigation into the incident at Rocketship. A statement from the office reads, “The safety and well being of all students across DC public and public charter schools is our priority. With the incident at Rocketship, we are extremely relieved that no children where physically harmed. We are currently investigating the incident and continue to work with the school and the Public Charter School Board to review and ensure strong policies are in place for student safety, and to ensure consistent and timely communication with families and school communities.”

The suspect Burnside remains in jail until his next hearing. That date has not been set.

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