Queens substitute art teacher, 52, is arrested for threatening to SHOOT middle schoolers because they weren’t listening to him during class
- Alejandro Rocha, 52, was arrested on Wednesday after confessing to the threat
- Rocha was leading an art class at the Intermediate School 5, the Walter Crowley School, in Maspeth when he made his disturbing comment
- The Sunnyside resident has been a substitute teacher for 20 years and has no prior disciplinary history
- He has been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat
A substitute teacher in Queens has been arrested for threatening to shoot a classroom of middle schoolers on Wednesday.
Alejandro Rocha, 52, was arrested later that day and charged with making a terroristic threat after telling the art class at Intermediate School 5, the Walter Crowley School, in Maspeth: ‘If you won’t do as you’re told, I’m gonna shoot you — and yes, I have a gun.’
None of the students made a complaint about the comment but Rocha confessed about what he’d said to a supervisor.
Rocha told top school officials that he made the bad joke when the group of 11 and 12 year olds became unruly but that he was sorry.
A substitute teacher in Queens was arrested for threatening to shoot a classroom of middle schoolers when he could not get control of the 11 and 12-year-olds
Rocha has been a substitute teacher since September 2001 and has no prior disciplinary history, according to the Department of Education.
The Sunnyside resident has been suspended without pay and is awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court.
A spokesperson for the city’s DOE commented on the concerning situation saying, ‘This deeply disturbing allegation is absolutely unacceptable and this substitute teacher was immediately suspended.’
Rocha’s disturbing threat comes during an alarming rise in gun violence in New York City.
Shootings have surged 29 percent so far this year compared to the same period last year, with newly elected mayor Eric Adams warning this week that ‘no one is going to come back’ to New York City if the crime wave continues on the same trend.