The LAUSD gym teacher who veered his truck off an embankment during a police chase earlier this week was charged with evading police and multiple counts of lewd acts against a 14-year-old girl, Jane Robinson with the LA County District Attorney’s office said Friday.
Kip Richard Arnold, 51, remains hospitalized after leading police on a pursuit that wound through parts of South Los Angeles and ended with his vehicle veering off the road, down a hill and through a patio at a Rolling Hills Estates office building.
He was charged in a felony complaint for arrest warrant with three counts of lewd act on a child who was 14 years old, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object and one count of evading an officer, Deputy District Attorney Diana Martinez said in a statement released Thursday.
Prosecutors will ask Arnold’s bail be set at $1 million, DA officials said.
The chase started Tuesday when officers initiated a traffic stop on Arnold, who was under surveillance related to allegations of sexual molestation, police said.
Bell police said they were preparing to arrest the Lakewood resident when he sped off.
"When we first made contact with him in the city of Lakewood, he stated to us that he was suicidal and that he knew why we were there," Bell Police Detective Tony Lopez told NBC4 on Tuesday.
Officials say based on Arnold’s statements, they believe he may intentionally drove his pickup truck off the 70-foot embankment.
Arnold – a Southwest Middle School teacher who has worked at three other LAUSD schools – is accused of having a sexual relationship with a then-14-year-old girl between June and September 2005.
The alleged victim – now an adult – reported the incident to authorities, DA officials said.
In addition to teaching at Southeast Middle School, Arnold previously worked at Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School and Orchard Academies 2B, according to the school district, which indicated there may be more alleged victims.
Arnold’s arraigned will be delayed until he is released from the hospital. He faces up to seven years in state prison.