Police: Wethersfield elementary principal tried to take pictures of girls at Walmart

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WETHERSFIELD (WTIC) -- A Wethersfield elementary school principal was placed on leave Monday following his arrest over the weekend at a Hartford Walmart. Wednesday, police released more information in the case.

John Bean, principal at Highcrest Elementary School, is accused of trying to take pictures of children at a Walmart, police said in a report.

The incident happened Saturday at the Walmart at 495 Flatbush Avenue in Hartford. Employees thought Bean was acting suspiciously and monitored him, thinking he might be preparing to steal merchandise. While under observation, police said, they observed him taking pictures of children, "especially when they were not in the immediate vicinity of their parents." He appeared to be following girls between 6 and 8 years old.

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Principal arrested over taking pictures of girls at Wal-Mart
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Principal arrested over taking pictures of girls at Wal-Mart

When the loss-prevention employee approached him, police said, he resisted. Bean is charged with interfering with police and breach of peace.

Hartford Police said they immediately notified Wethersfield police who took immediate action and are assisting the investigation.

Hartford Police also made a precautionary notification to the state Department of Children and Families of the incident involving Bean, who is a father of two.

Michael T. , superintendent of Wethersfield schools, released the following statement:

I placed John Bean on administrative leave, effective September 26, 2016. It would not be appropriate for me to comment regarding the circumstances leading to Mr. Bean's arrest, as the matter remains under investigation. As always, our most important priority is the continuity of high quality instruction for our students, and we are taking steps to ensure that the high level of instruction at Highcrest School will continue during Mr. Bean's leave.

Bean was selected as principal of Highcrest Elementary School in 2014. He formerly served as Assistant Principal of Tolland Intermediate School. He was also a teacher with South Windsor Public Schools and lives in West Hartford.

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