Police said Friday they will expand their investigation of a Columbia County substitute teacher accused of child molestation.
The announcement came in light of a letter written more than a month ago by a Brookwood Elementary School teacher. The teacher wrote that two of her pupils might have been touched inappropriately by the 67-year-old Augusta man.
Columbia County sheriff's Maj. Rick Whitaker said investigators retrieved the letter June 15, one day after police learned about allegations of child molestation against the substitute at Riverside Elementary School.
Police were given the letter by Columbia County School System human resource officials after police inquired about other allegations against the substitute at other elementary schools.
Whitaker would only identify the author of the Brookwood letter as a third-grade teacher. The substitute is vacationing in Europe, and police have not yet questioned him, Whitaker said. In the meantime, the sheriff's office plans to question other elementary school officials to determine whether the substitute taught there and whether other alleged groping incidents might have occurred.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
Man is arrested after child molestation accusation
A Grovetown man was arrested June 22 on a charge of nonaggravated child molestation.
Neil Eric Hasselquist, 41, of the 200 block of Teton Court, was arrested after a girl told student volunteers on a special education bus that Hasselquist had molested her, according to a police report. The report did not list the girl's age.
Hasselquist was released the same day of his arrest on a $25,100 bond, according to jail records.
Woman is arrested after asking for ride
An Appling woman, after asking for a ride from a sheriff's deputy, was arrested Friday on a charge of giving false information to police.
Shelby Jean Weatherford, 34, of the 6200 block of Cobbham Road, was given a ride to a Circle K convenience store on Appling-Harlem Highway by a deputy so she could purchase cigarettes, according to a police report.
After her purchase, she asked a different officer for a ride, the report states. The deputy told her he first needed to know her name, so he could check to see whether she had any outstanding warrants.
Weatherford gave the deputy her sister's name instead of her own, according to the report. A computer check revealed that her sister was wanted by authorities on traffic charges.
Weatherford was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser. She then admitted that she was using her sister's name and revealed her true identity.
She was then arrested and charged with giving false information to police.
Weatherford, whose bond was set at $1,100, was still being held at the Columbia County Detention Center on Tuesday morning.
Day-care vans vandalized
An Evans day-care center's vans were vandalized this past weekend.
An official for Appletree Academy III, at 406 Furys Ferry Road, told police that one of the preschool's vans was spray-painted with vulgarities and another had many of its windows shattered by rocks.
The business has a surveillance camera, but it was not recording at the time of the incident, a police report stated.
Martinez Fire Department Activity Report for the week of June 19-25:
Structure fire, one; grass fires, two; vehicle fires, three; controlled burn, one; natural gas leak, one; fire alarms, six; medical calls, 15; rescue calls, seven; investigations, five; and public service, one.
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