FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Former Olsen Middle School teacher Mary Carr said everyone at the school treats each other like family.
Carr spent more than a dozen years at the school and said she knew security guard Nathaniel Strowbridge as a “stand-up guy.”
Terry Lopez Preuss was also a teacher at Olsen Middle School in Dania Beach. She said she worked there for 16 years and also knew Strowbridge.
“He is one of the nicest guys I have met,” Lopez Preuss said.
Strowbridge, 57, worked at Olsen Middle School for most of his 25-year career until deputies arrested him two weeks ago, after an anonymous caller told Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies he had a gun in his car.
After a search, investigators say they found a 45-caliber handgun on the floorboard of the car, which was parked in the school lot. The tipster also claimed Strowbridge was mentally unstable.
“It’s not in his nature at all … He has one of the soundest minds at that school and I can tell you that 100 percent,” Lopez Preuss said.
Strowbridge was charged with having a firearm on school property. Coworkers said he really needs his job since he takes care of his disabled wife and three grandchilden.
Support is growing online as well for Strowbridge. There is a petition with some 900 signatures requesting that administrators help him get his job reinstated or to guarantee his pension.
“There’s gotta be more to this,” Lopez Preuss said. “I feel there was a targeting and he’s the wrong one to target. He is an excellent man.”