Damian Esteban was qualified to teach students at a specialized New York City high school, and had just been deemed reasonable enough to judge a man’s fate in a murder trial.
But passing through the metal detectors at a Manhattan courthouse may have been too tough a test.
Mr. Esteban, 33, was arrested on Wednesday as he returned from a break in a trial in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration, said.
As Mr. Esteban, a teacher at the Williamsburg School of Architecture and Design in Brooklyn, passed through a metal detector at the courthouse, it beeped.
A court officer, Laura Cannon, found the culprit to be a cigarette box in Mr. Esteban’s pocket. Upon opening the cigarette box, Ms. Cannon reported that she found a much bigger problem: 18 small bags of heroin.
Mr. Esteban, who lives on East 21st Street in Manhattan, was arrested and was expected to be arraigned on Thursday.
Mr. Esteban has been a teacher at the school since August 2007, a spokeswoman for the Education Department said.
Mr. Esteban’s page on the school’s Web site shows that last spring he taught a class titled “Global IV.” One of his homework assignments required students to write a brief paper saying whether they agreed or disagreed that “Napoleon was the child of the French Revolution.”
Mr. Esteban had been serving this week as a juror in the murder trial of Jamal Armstead, who is accused in the 2008 killing of a teenager on the Upper West Side. The trial judge had an alternate juror take Mr. Esteban’s place, Mr. Bookstaver said.
“The court officers are there to do a thorough search and keep everyone safe and this goes to show that they are very alert,” Mr. Bookstaver said.
17th October 2012. NY Times
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