Sacramento teacher in mental crisis threatened ‘bloodshed,’ bit deputy in jail, Sheriff’s Office says

A Sacramento teacher jailed during what her family said was a mental health crisis was arrested on suspicion of saying she would assault the principal at the Natomas Unified school where she worked and of biting a sheriff’s deputy while in jail custody, according to reports of the incidents filed by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.

The family of Kaylin Footman, a second-grade Paso Verde School teacher, and the Sacramento chapter of the NAACP have been sharing her story in the last week after she was charged in two separate criminal cases. Footman, 31, was arraigned Tuesday at an inpatient jail cell, said her public defender, because she was too unwell to come to a courtroom.

A judge approved Footman’s transfer to a psychiatric hospital and criminal proceedings have been delayed.

Footman, arrested initially Oct. 14, faces charges in connection with making criminal threats, threatening a school official, two counts of resisting a peace officer and battery against a peace officer.

Her family — who also implored Sacramento County supervisors for help during Tuesday’s board meeting — and the Sacramento chapter of the NAACP have requested the charges be dropped because the allegations stemmed from her mental health crisis.

The Sacramento Sheriff’s County Office said it has a duty to seek charges when they believe someone violated the law.

“We cannot not document it,” said Sgt. Amar Gandhi, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

Deputies’ reports say Footman texted Paso Verde School Principal Amy Whitten multiple times, saying she would inflict “bloodshed” on the school administrator. When Footman was booked, she “refused to comply with directives, pulled her arms away, delayed, and obstructed deputies in their duties,” the reports said.

“(Whitten) was in fear for her safety,” the reports said.

Whitten referred a request for comment to Deidra Powell, a spokeswoman for the Natomas Unified School District. Powell said the district could not comment on a personnel matter and that the district has multiple programs offering mental health support.

Footman is still employed with the district, Powell said by email.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office brought a second set of charges against Footman stemming from an incident that happened while deputies were moving her to the jail’s psych ward.

Footman is accused of biting a deputy, causing a “laceration” requiring “major medical treatment,” the report said. It adds Footman reportedly punched a second deputy during the incident.

The justice system also has checks and balances: Sheriff’s deputies simply request charges and it’s up to prosecutors to actually file charges, Gandhi added.

“The sheriff doesn’t have a magic wand to make charges appear and disappear,” Gandhi said.

Kate Carlson, a public defender who represented Footman during her arraignment, said her criminal case will proceed after medical treatment. Footman’s next court hearing is expected Nov. 1.

“She was not able to understand what was going on and react appropriately,” Carlson said of Footman during the arraignment. “She is very unwell.”