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Bar brawl part of lesson plan for teens
pic waller barroom
From left, James Rendon, Jaime Castaneda, Humberto Andrade, and Karla Lamar took part in the Manteca Unified ROP Careers in Law Enforcements barroom brawl exercise on Friday. Castaneda played the role of shooting suspect Shakey. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

For 16 years, Joe Waller uses this time of year to convert his Careers in Law Enforcement class room into a barroom.

But for students in this Regional Occupational Program of the Manteca Unified School District, the brawl at the Star Bar scenario is always brand new experience.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Jaime Castaneda, an East Union High student who was a key player in the exercise.

As Shakey, he filled the role of the antagonist turned murder – allegedly, but a jury of his peers will decide next month if Shakey is guilty or innocent during a mock trial as Waller’s portable at the MUSD complex will take the shape of a court room – beginning with a domestic dispute with Jackie.

In this case, Karen Flores, who also attends East Union, played the role of the battered girlfriend.

“I’m the total opposite of (Jackie),” she said. “I wouldn’t take what she took – I’m one to defend myself.”

As Jackie, Flores goes to the aforementioned Star Bar following the spat, hanging out at the bar with her girlfriend when she’s approached the character, Sneaky Pete.

Manteca High’s Michael Padilla filled that role.

According to script, he was confronted by a jealous Shakey, who spots him talking to Jackie at the bar.

“I went into (this role) fully,” said Padilla, who enjoyed smacking Castaneda as Shakey with a prop pool stick.

After a brief “hospital” visit, a beaten up Shakey returned to the Star Bar. But this time, he was armed with a handgun.

What ensued was a shooting that left Padilla –a.k.a. Sneaky Pete – sprawled on the floor, dying from his bullet wounds.

This part of the exercise gave students from the ROP Health Careers, working in conjunction with the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District, had an opportunity to attend to the injured person. They went through the process of administering treatment to Padilla.

Waller’s students – included here were James Rendon, Humberto Andrade and Karla Lamar – played the arresting officers.

They worked with the Manteca police in apprehending and booking the shooting suspect.

“I’ve been doing this for years,” Waller said. “Students really enjoy doing (the barroom brawl) – it never gets old.”