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LAUSD teacher pursuit: More details of alleged child abuse

July 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
New details were released on Wednesday of the child-molestation accusations against an LAUSD teacher who was arrested after a dramatic high-speed pursuit.

Charges have not yet been filed against Kip Arnold, who has been with LAUSD for eight years. He remains in the hospital under observation.

Arnold led police on a wild chase on Tuesday that ended with his car launching 70 feet down an embankment. It began when officers investigating Arnold approached him while he was inside his car.

"When they walked up on the car, he made some statement of being suicidal, and put the car in gear and led our officers on a chase," said Bell Police Lt. Ty Henshaw.

He led investigators on a chase from his Lakewood home to the South Bay. Arnold, a physical education teacher at Southeast Middle School, was under investigation for lewd acts with a former student.

According to Bell police, his alleged victim was a 14-year-old female student who he met at Nimitz Middle School in Huntington Park in 2005. The incidents happened on and off campus, during and after school hours, and the relationship went on for years, according to Mark Haushalter, the attorney for the alleged victim.

"He would take them sometimes out of class ... and have private time with them and take them away and isolate these children," Haushalter said.

Haushalter says his client is now 21 years old, and she came forward when she happened to reconnect with a former Nimitz Middle School classmate who shared a similar story about Arnold.

"He has a boat, and so he would try inviting these girls onto his boat, again isolating them away from their parents, away from the school, so he would have access to them," Haushalter said.

While Arnold's Lakewood neighbors say he seemed trustworthy and did not believe the allegations against him, authorities say Arnold has faced similar troubles before. According to court records, he was charged with two molestation cases in 1993 in Long Beach, but they were dismissed.

LAUSD said they are notifying students at all schools where Arnold has worked, including Southeast Middle School, Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School, Orchard Academies 2B and Bell High School, where former students may be attending now.

"We're reaching out to the community and asking for their help in locating any additional victims should there be any, for them to call the Bell Police Department," Henshaw said.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Bell Police Department at (323) 585-1245.

Arnold's case is being prepared and will be presented to the D.A.'s office. LAUSD said until formal charges are filed, it cannot comment on Arnold's future with them.


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