Reporting Paul Burton
BILLERICA (CBS) – A Billerica middle school teacher has been arrested and charged with armed robbery.
Jennifer Horton, a 27-year-old teacher at Marshall Middle School, is accused of sticking a gun in the victim’s face to steal prescription drugs and money.
“It’s absolutely horrifying, especially being in a relatively small town. You don’t expect if from these teachers… It’s baffling,” said Kerrie O’Brien, a parent.
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports
Police said that Horton, a 6th grade English and Social Studies teacher at the school, was with an accomplice in a car in Worcester on Friday when they each held a gun up to a 54-year-old man who was sitting in the back seat.
According to the police report, investigators said Horton “brandished a firearm and pointed it at the victim demanding cash and his prescription medications.”
The man in the passenger seat, who is an acquaintance of the victim, then searched the victim and took cash and his medication, police said. The victim told police the man sprayed him with pepper spray, but he was able to get out of the car and walk home. The report said Horton and the man then drove off.
“It was a very shocking incident that was reported to me by the Worcester Police Department and if any employee were found guilty of these kinds of charges, then we would take very serous, appropriate actions,” said Bill Ryan, the superintendent of schools.
Parents whose kids have Horton as a teacher were told Tuesday that that she has been place on paid administrative leave.
“The message to parents is, first of all, the school is safe. This individual, as I said, is on paid administrative leave and she will not be in the building or on our property,” said Ryan.
Police said they are still searching for Horton’s accomplice. Investigators have not released his name.