MESA, Ariz. (FOX 10) - It's a disturbing start to the school year for parents and students at an elementary school in Mesa, as a teacher accused of sexual assault was arrested and taken into custody on campus.
The elementary school teacher, identified as Michael Patrick Driscoll, was arrested at the school on Wednesday, after the school day was over. He had worked two days of the new school year with an active warrant out for his arrest.
"What have you heard about this?" asked FOX 10's Nicole Garcia.
"Absolutely nothing," said parent Lisa Thompson.
Parents at Irving Elementary School in mesa were shocked to learn that Driscoll was taken into custody on campus by the Maricopa County Fugitive Apprehension Task Force.
"Very, very scary. We need to be informed," said Thompson.
Driscoll has been a teacher for ten years, and officials with Mesa Public School District denied making a public statement, saying it was still an active investigation.
School officials also tried to prevent FOX from talking to and informing parents.
Meanwhile, a district employee said a letter would be sent to parents, explaining that a "qualified substitute teacher" would be hired in Driscoll’s place.
According to court documents, Driscoll, 48, gave the 19-year-old alleged victim whiskey to drink after a wake for a family member. Driscoll then convinced the alleged victim to sleep on a couch he was also on, and the alleged victim woke up to Driscoll performing a sexual act on her, and Driscoll told her to lie on her back as he tried to kiss her. The alleged victim then woke up Driscoll's son to tell him what happened. During a funeral occasion, the alleged victim told other family members, and the incident was then reported to police in Flagstaff and Mesa.
A Grand Jury indicted Driscoll on the felony charge last month, then a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. The fugitive taskforce arrested Driscoll about 20 minutes after the school day ended.
During his first court appearance, Driscoll appeared sad and softspoken. In court documents, police say Driscoll apologized for hurting the alleged victim during a recorded phone call, and claimed that he was drunk and did not remember touching the alleged victim inappropriately.
Driscoll bond was set at $100,000. He is due back in court for his arraignment on August 15.