Amanda Raus, Chris Podosek
A 72-year-old substitute music teacher in Connecticut who was dismissed after a staff member said she found him masturbating at school Wednesday morning told authorities he was just adjusting his pants, according to court documents
A 72-year-old substitute music teacher in Connecticut who was dismissed after a staff member said she found him masturbating at school Wednesday morning told authorities he was just adjusting his pants, according to court documents.
Michael Luecke, of Stamford, appeared in court today. He is being held on $10,000 bond.
A staff member at Westhill High School in Stamford was walking in an area of lockers just after 7:33 a.m. on Wednesday when she saw Luecke on the ground and approached him because she thought he was hurt.
Instead, she found the substitute teacher with his hand in his pants.
His head was tilted back, his eyes were rolled back and he was “manipulating his penis,” according to police.
The staff member told Luecke his behavior was inappropriate.
His response was that he "had to find somewhere else to do that," according to court paperwork.
But the staff member told Luecke that he should not be working around kids.
His response what "that never happened to me before."
The staff member then notified school officials, who quickly notified Westhill High School Resource Officers.
Luecke was immediately removed from a classroom that he was overseeing, brought to the main office and detained.
Police said they reviewed surveillance, which showed Luecke in the corner of a stairwell at Rayner building “suspiciously manipulating the front of his pants” while looking at students in the courtyard around 7:30 a.m.
Three minutes later, Luecke was seen going behind a bank of student lockers for approximately a minute, then emerging and lying on his back.
Then the video shows the witness confront him while he is on the floor. It also shows Luecke’s pants open. He appeared to be in an aroused state, according to police.
Police said they are working to identify the six students who passed Luecke’s while he is “conducting this act” to assess a need for counseling.
"It's shocking, shocking," said Stamford parent Toni Cummaro. "The elementary school is right there, the high school, it's still kids we're talking about. It's awful, it's awful."
When police spoke with Luecke in the main office, he said he was having a wardrobe malfunction, according to court documents.
He said he does not wear a belt, the clip on his pants does not work properly and he got on the floor to close the clip.
Luecke was arrested and taken to Stamford police headquarters, where he was charged with public indecency, second-degree breach of peace and risk of injury to a minor.
Officials said he has been in Connecticut for six years and has no prior arrest record.
According to his lawyer, Luecke said he is a veteran.
Bond was originally set at $25,000, but was reduced to $10,000.
Luecke has been ordered to go through a mental health evaluation in prison.
If he is released, he will be on 24-hour house arrest and will have to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
He will also undergo intensive pre-trial monitoring.
Officials ordered Luecke to stay away from schools and to go through a mental health evaluation as well as treatment.
Stamford schools are not the only schools Luecke has subbed in. He has also subbed in the middle school and high school in Greenwich, school officials said, but no longer will.
His substitute teaching in Greenwich was infrequent, school officials said.