Friday, Dec 13, 2013
Harrisburg Teacher Arrested After McDonald's Scuffle
Updated Wednesday October 16, 2013
HARRISBURG -- Superintendent Dennis Smith says Luna is on paid administrative leave until further notice.
HARRISBURG -- A Saline County teacher faces charges after police say he pulled a gun on a woman in a fast food drive-thru.
Larry Luna, 61, of Harrisburg was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He faces two charges of aggravated assault with a weapon.
It's a situation that's not sitting well with parents and school leaders.
In a phone interview, Harrisburg Superintendent Dennis Smith says the district has received a number of calls from concerned parents.
He says he's been in contact with local authorities, but school leaders have to wait to see how things play out in the courthouse.
Police say it started at the Harrisburg McDonald's drive-thru early last Sunday morning.
Larry Luna was sitting in line when he became impatient and began honking, screaming, and yelling at the woman in front of him placing her order. Things escalated fast, witnesses say, when the woman stepped out of her car and Luna pointed a pistol at her.
"These are just horrible distractions," said Smith. He says Luna has been a Spanish teacher at the high school since 2006, and confirmed the woman involved was the mother of a Harrisburg student.
"Since this is not a workplace misconduct, assuming that it's true, we really have to sit and let this develop," explained Smith.
Luna faces two charges of aggravated assault for displaying a weapon in a public place.
Smith is waiting for official charges from the state's attorney's office, but since they are misdemeanor charges, he's not sure there's much the school can do.
Still, Smith knows some parents have safety concerns.
"We're going to make them feel as comfortable as we can,' he said. "We're going to address the situation as we are able to within the law and the collective bargaining agreement that our teachers have and so forth."
He adds, what happened was an isolated incident that does not reflect on the community as a whole.
"This is not a Harrisburg thing," insisted Smith. "These are individuals that get in to these situations and it really has nothing to do with the vast majority of the people who teach here and work here and live here and learn here," he added.
Luna is out of jail after posting $5,000 bond. As a teacher, Luna would have gone through a criminal background check to be certified, and no prior arrest records have been found.
Again, the superintendent says these are only misdemeanor charges, so he'll remain employed at the district while this moves through the court.
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