Nathan Forstell, 44, of San Jose was arrested in connection with having child pornography at his home. He taught in San Jose and Monterey County, among other places. Marianne Favro reports.
Sirens blared just minutes after NBC Bay Area arrived at an apartment on La Pala Drive in San Jose on Thursday evening. A fire truck, the paramedics and police officers showed up. Neighbors came outside their homes wondering what was going on.
San Jose police say 44-year-old school teacher, Nathan Forstell, tried to kill himself by overdosing on medication a day after he was arrested on child pornography charges. Investigators say his fiancee made the emergency call.
NBC Bay Area does not usually report about suicides, but did so in this case because of the announcement of the teacher's arrest earlier in the day.
Forstell was arrested on Wednesday at Martin Luther King elementary school in Seaside near Monterey on suspicion of having at least 1,000 images of child pornography on his computer. Some of the photos showed children as young as four years old doing sexual acts.
"I'm upset. Yeah. I'm angry. I'm upset. I mean he lives here in our complex," Gracie Villarreal, a neighbor who lives across from Forstell, said.
What's even more upsetting to the parents, Forstell is a physical education teacher. He also once worked as a substitute in the Alum Rock Union School District.
"That's scary. That's really scary for me because my daughter comes to these schools here. And I also have a son too, so that's scary for me," Villagomez said.
Detectives from the San Jose Police Department's Sexual Assault Unit say their ongoing investigation into child pornography led them to Forstell's home. They say, at this point, it appears Forstell was viewing and sharing the photos online. They do not believe he was the one producing them. Police in Seaside will be interviewing children who interacted with Forstell at MLK elementary to determine if anything criminal occurred. Both school districts in San Jose and Monterey county are confident no child pornography was downloaded from their computers.
"I was really shocked. A lot of the kids, there are a lot of kids around here. Lot of the kids used to come around and play with him," Villarreal said.
Forstell is at Valley Medical Center where he spend the next two days on psychiatric hold.
Anyone with information about this case are urged to call Detective Sean Pierce #3415 the San Jose Police Department's Sexual Assaults Unit (Child Exploits/Internet Crimes Against Children Detail) at (408) 537-1381. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP (7867), or may visit: http://svcrimestoppers.org/, and may be eligible for a reward.