Arrested Substitute Teacher Passed Background Check, Stamford Schools Say

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Stamford police arrested 72-year-old Michael Luecke early Wednesday after a paraprofessional witnessed him masturbating on the floor near lockers and students at Westhill High School, police said.
Stamford police arrested 72-year-old Michael Luecke early Wednesday after a paraprofessional witnessed him masturbating on the floor near lockers and students at Westhill High School, police said. Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

STAMFORD, Conn. – The 72-year-old man accused of masturbating in the hallway at Westhill High School has been fired by the public school systems in Stamford and Greenwich, where he worked as a substitute teacher, school officials said Thursday. 

Michael Luecke, of Stamford, was arrested on charges of public indecency, second-degree breach of peace and risk of injury to a minor after the incident Wednesday, Stamford police said.

Luecke had been contracted as a substitute teacher in Stamford since 2009 after undergoing an extensive interviewing process and background check, a school official said.

“Just like with teachers, any substitute who applies has to fill out an application,” Stamford Public Schools spokeswoman Sharon Beadle said. With that application comes reference checks, an in-person interview, a check of the sex predator website, fingerprinting analysis for any previous local, state or federal crimes and a check with the Department of Children and Families, she said.

“This is the first complaint [about Lueke] we’ve gotten,” Beadle said. If anything had come up in his background check, the school system would not have hired him in the first place, she said.

A similar process took place with the Greenwich schools, said Kim Eves, director of communications for the school district.

“We wouldn’t have hired him if there was something in his background check,” she said. Luecke had worked as a substitute teacher in the middle schools and Greenwich High school, she said.

Stamford police officers arrested Luecke near the start of the school day Wednesday morning after a paraprofessional witnessed him masturbating on the floor near lockers and students at Westhill High School, police said.

His bond was lowered from $25,000 to $10,000 after an appearance Thursday at Stamford Superior Court, NBC Connecticut said

Luecke posted bond later Thursday and was put on 24-hour house arrest and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, News 12 reported.

NBC Connecticut reported that Luecke told authorities he was just adjusting his pants, according to court documents. He said the clip on his pants does not work properly and he got on the floor to close the clip, the court documents said.

Police and the school districts were continuing to investigate the incident.

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Seems a little odd to me. 72 yr old and in the hallway? I lean toward believing the substitute over the paraprofessional reporter, especially in this trigger happy environment we now find ourselves.