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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Car Driven Into School Courtyard; Father Arrested

October 21, 2000

LANCASTER — A local resident was charged with felony drunk driving and child endangerment after driving his car into the courtyard of Paraclete High School, Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said Friday.

The incident occurred after 5 p.m. Thursday, when John Bower, 36, drove his Jeep Wagoneer to the school to pick up his son from football practice, according to Judy Hibbs, an employee at the school. Bower allegedly plowed into a courtyard next to the parking lot, knocking over tables and benches.

Eight students received minor injuries, from scrapes to broken bones. Seven of them--all football players--were treated at local hospitals. All were released by Friday afternoon, school officials said.

The reckless endangerment charge stems from the fact that Bower's elementary-age daughter was in the car with him at the time, said Lt. Wallace Fullerton of the Lancaster sheriff's station.

Bower, whose bail was set at $50,000, was in custody at Twin Towers Jail in downtown Los Angeles Friday.

Football coach Jeff Cortez said that because six of the injured players were on the varsity squad, he was considering bringing up junior varsity players for the school's game Friday against Pasadena Marshall.

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