14 JULY 29, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
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after charges dropped
teacher who allegedly
BY BILL PARRY
The mystery surrounding the arrest
of a Sunnyside teacher for
threatening his students in an
Elmhurst school deepened Thursday,
July 22, when the charges against him
were suddenly dropped before he was
scheduled to be arraigned before a judge.
Alejandro Rocha, 52, was arrested
and charged on Wednesday, July 21,
with ‘“making a terrorist threat” to
his students, according to the NYPD,
aft er he allegedly threatened to shoot
his students at I.S. 5, the Walter McCaffrey
School, located at 50-40 Jacobus St.
While none of the students in his
art class complained, Rocha “selfreported”
the incident to a superior
who called the NYPD. Police from the
110th Precinct in Elmhurst arrested
him later in the day.
As he was awaiting his arraignment
the following day the charges were
dropped and Rocha was released without
explanation. The NYPD on Friday,
July 23, would not comment on the case
and the Queens district attorney’s offi
ce was tight-lipped, saying only that
the investigation is ongoing.
Rocha began as a substitute teacher
with the city Department of Education
in September 2001. He has no prior
disciplinary history, according to a
source with knowledge of the case.
“This is absolutely unacceptable,”
a Department of Education spokesperson
told QNS on July 22. “The
substitute teacher was immediately
suspended and if this deeply disturbing
allegation is found to be true, he
will be fi red.”
Rocha is suspended without pay and
is not eligible to work for the Department