North Fulton County

Teacher under investigation for attempted molestation in mall bathroom

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County Schools confirmed a teacher told officials he is the subject of an investigation into an attempted molestation at Perimeter Mall.

Channel 2's Mike Petchenik learned the man under investigation is a teacher at Tucker Middle School.

We are not naming him because formal charges have not been filed.

We showed you surveillance video Friday of an early August incident at Perimeter Mall.

Police say the man in this video lured a 13-year-old boy into a bathroom stall, then tried to get him to pull down his pants.

When the boy fought back, police say, the man grabbed his pants, but the boy got away and his father chased the man out of the mall.

Petchenik spoke with the teacher's neighbor, who said she is concerned.

"That's too close. That's too close for me," neighbor Shalaila Clark said. "I don't want to live anywhere near anybody. I don't feel comfortable with that."

Yayi Rivera's younger brother is a sixth grader at Tucker Middle School. It's the same grade in which the man in question teaches.

"I think he should be fired. I think he should be fired," Rivera said.

Petchenik got a statement from DeKalb County Schools that says in part:

"This weekend, DCSD administrators were made aware by an employee that he was accused of criminal conduct at Perimeter Mall. Staff immediately reported the incident to the office of legal affairs and DCSD public safety.

"Throughout the weekend, DCSD public safety worked swiftly with the city of Dunwoody police department, and provided information to assist in their investigation of the alleged incident at Perimeter Mall. The City of Dunwoody Police Department is now handling the investigation and charges.

"The allegations, if verified and true, will lead to immediate termination. All accusations of employee misconduct -- off-site allegations included --  are investigated thoroughly by DCSD personnel to ensure student and staff safety. "

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