A Washington State high school shop teacher who, in May, told police he was attacked on campus and beaten bloody, made up the story.
A media release posted on the City of Bothell website this week stated that after the teacher failed a polygraph examination administered by police, he admitted: “he had intentionally injured himself, placed the zip tie around his own neck, and staged the crime scene.”
Bothell is a city north of Seattle,
The 63-year-old teacher, who had previously been publicly praised for his award-winning carpentry program, initially told police “he woke up in a pool of blood with a zip tie around his neck after being struck unconscious from behind in the school's wood shop.” Another teacher found him lying on the ground outside his classroom.
Police were suspicious when they noticed inconsistencies between the teacher's statements and evidence collected at the crime scene. In addition, review of hours of security footage from the school showed no suspects.
The school was put into lockdown after the late-afternoon report of an attack and extracurricular activities were stopped. Classes at the school were canceled the next day.
Even the teacher's family seemed fooled by the story. In a newspaper interview, the teacher's adult son called the attack “cowardly.”
The police investigation is ongoing and the teacher could face criminal charges, including obstruction and providing false statements to police.
A person is guilty of obstructing a law enforcement officer if the person willfully hinders, delays or obstructs any officer in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties. A law enforcement officer can be any general authority, limited authority or specially commissioned Washington peace officer or federal peace officer or any
other public officers who are responsible for enforcement of fire, building, zoning and life and safety codes.
Making a false or misleading material statement to a public servant also is a crime. A material statement means a written or oral statement reasonably likely to be relied upon by a public servant in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties.
In Washington State, there is also a law against false reporting. A person is guilty of false reporting if, with knowledge that the information reported, conveyed or circulated is false, he or she makes a false report or warning of an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a fire, explosion, crime, catastrophe or emergency knowing that such a false report is likely to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or transportation facility or to cause public inconvenience or alarm. This charge could be applied to the shop teacher as well since the school was placed on lockdown while police searched for his fictitious assailant.
All three offenses are gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in county jail, or a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
Everyone has lapses in judgment. If you find yourself in a situation where you have made a mistake in judgment, no matter the crime or the circumstances, you still have the right to representation by a qualified attorney. If you have been arrested and face criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.