Montgomery County

Maryland School Worker Let 2 Students With Special Needs Walk Away, Police Say

A Maryland school worker was arrested Wednesday after police say he let two students with special needs leave the school and then failed to report their absences promptly. 

Alfredo Lopez, 59, was accused of failing to supervise two 16-year-old boys with autism, as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities. Montgomery County police also say he failed to report that the students left school grounds. 

The two boys separately walked away from Rock Terrace High School in Gaithersburg as they were under Lopez’s supervision, police said.

After the students were reported missing later that day, they were found safe and unharmed.

Officers were called to the high school Monday following a report that one of the students was missing. It was determined that Lopez observed the student leave the campus but made no attempt to notify school administrators.

Lopez only reported the first student missing after a call from a family member said the student would be picked up that day, police said. 

Officers returned to the school about two hours later for a report of the second missing student, who was non-verbal. It was during this investigation that police found Lopez was responsible for this student as well.

The second student walked six miles home through inclement weather. 

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Lopez on Tuesday and arrested him at his home on Wednesday. He was released later that day. He faces two charges of neglect. 

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