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College teacher arrested after campus fight

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A Santa Rosa Junior College adjunct chemistry instructor was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of disturbing the peace and false imprisonment after allegedly arguing and attempting to fight two women on campus, campus police said.

Campus police said John Peter Melbardis, 44, of Rohnert Park, was taken into custody as an officer was investigating a report of a verbal disturbance at Bech Hall at 12:02 p.m. Tuesday.

When the officer arrived on scene, police said two women — a student and campus employee — were visibly upset outside of the hall. The officer then entered the building and allegedly heard Melbardis arguing with other people, then detained him.

After speaking with witnesses and the victims, police determined Melbardis had allegedly used aggressive language and cursed in an attempt to provoke a violent reaction from the victims.

Police said after Melbardis did that, he then allegedly assumed a “threatening fighting stance” against one of the women, held up his arms, clenched his fists and cocked one hand back as if to prepare to throw a punch.

After that, police said Melbardis allegedly backed the other woman into a wall and prevented her freedom of movement by blocking her path with his body.

Melbardis has been booked into Sonoma County Jail and is not allowed on any SRJC district property for at least 14 days from his arrest.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call SRJC police at (707) 527-1000.

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