Rep. Canario praises actions of PHS teacher, resource officer

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) is praising the actions of Portsmouth High School teacher Risha Pellegrino and School Resource Officer Maddie Pirri in their handling of an intruder at Portsmouth High School this week.

“Due to the decisive actions of Ms. Pellegrino and Officer Pirri, a scary and troubling situation could have gone far worse at Portsmouth High School. I applaud both their efforts in protecting the students in their care and I wish Ms. Pellegrino a quick recovery from her injuries sustained while defending her students,” said Representative Canario.

Earlier this week, a former student attempted to gain entry to the school through the gym.  Ms. Pellegrino attempted to stop the man who then assaulted the teacher in front of her students. 

The students promptly called 911 and the man was arrested by Officer Pirri in the school’s main office. The intruder was arrested without incident and police discovered a 7-inch knife in his backpack.

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