COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Colonie Police say it happened Tuesday at Shaker High School during school hours. A 17-year-old student was using the bathroom when he noticed a cellphone pointed in his direction from under the stall.
“[He] becomes aware that the male next to him is holding his cellphone underneath the stall divider. Not only in video mode, but he also observes flashes, which leads him to believe that he’s trying to take photographs,” Colonie Police Lt. Bob Winn told NEWS10 ABC reporter Anya Tucker.
Winn says that when the student tried to catch the person by grabbing at his pants, he broke free.
“So what he does is he takes out his own cellphone and was able to capture some video of the suspect. Not his face, but more importantly, the ID tag hanging around his neck.” Winn added.
Police say that video and school surveillance helped to identify the suspect as a Shaker High substitute teacher named Jeffrey Wellman. Wellman is said to have run from the school after the alleged incident but was located by police at his Albany home.
The 42-year-old was charged with Unlawful Surveillance in the Second Degree, a felony.
“We commend the student for taking action. The student did the right thing,” said North Colonie Schools Superintendent Joe Corr.
Corr said Wellman had worked for the district as a substitute teacher for six years and almost exclusively at the high school. But he was promptly fired after his arrest.
Wellman had been assigned to the district through Capital Region BOCES Substitute Coordination Services, which in a statement said that his employment was “terminated.”
“The BOCES Services does the background checks. This was the first we heard of anything inappropriate,” said Corr.
Colonie Police confiscated Wellman’s cellphone and laptop, which are now at the New York State Police crime lab. Police ask if anyone knows of any other possible victims to please give them a call at 518-783-2811