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Montgomery County Public Schools Paraeducator Charged with Child Neglect

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 27, 2018

Officers from the Montgomery County Police – Special Operations Division (SOD) Managed Search Operations Team have arrested Alfredo Lopez, age 59, of the 7800 block of Mineral Springs Drive in Gaithersburg, and charged him with two counts of neglect of a minor. Lopez had failed to provide supervision and failed to initially report two separate missing persons incidents.  On September 24, two teenage students with Autism and an Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) separately walked away from the Rockville public school where Lopez worked in a supervisory position. Both students were eventually reported as missing to the police and both students were located safe and unharmed later that day.

On Monday, September 24 at approximately 12:50 p.m., 1st District officers and Rockville City Police officers responded to the Rock Terrace High School located at 390 Martins Lane in Rockville for the report of a missing 16-year-old male student with Autism/IDD who had walked away from the school. During the investigation, officers determined that Lopez observed the student leave the school on foot at approximately 9:52 that morning and, at that time, made no attempt to notify school staff members that the student had walked away.  At approximately 12:40 p.m., Lopez notified school administrative personnel that the student had walked away, but only after a relative of that student had called the school to state that he/she would be picking the student up that day.  The student was then reported as missing to police.

That same afternoon, at approximately 1:51 p.m., a Montgomery County Public Schools bus driver observed the missing student walking northbound on Ridge Road (Rt. 27) at Sweepstakes Drive in Damascus.  The student was returned to his home.

At approximately 3:00 p.m., 1st District officers and Rockville City Police officers again responded to the Rock Terrace High School for the report of a missing non-verbal 16-year-old male student with Autism/IDD.  During that investigation, officers determined that Lopez was also responsible for supervising this student.  Lopez had lost sight of the student and did not immediately follow established protocol to report the student as missing to administrative staff.  A review of school surveillance video showed the student exit the school through the front door at approximately 2:53 p.m.  MCP K-9 officers and officers from the 1st, 4th, and 6th Districts, immediately began searching for the missing student.

At approximately 6:11 p.m., MCP was notified by family members that the student was located at home in the Glenmont area.  Officers determined that the student had walked approximately six miles in inclement weather from the school to his home.

On Tuesday, September 25, officers obtained an arrest warrant for Lopez charging him with two counts of neglect of minor.

On Wednesday, September 26, Lopez was arrested at his home. After being charged, he was later released on his own recognizance.

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Alfredo LopezAlfredo Lopez (Original Image)

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Release ID: 18-403
Media Contact: mcpnews 
Categories: press-releases