A Naugatuck teacher was arrested after an assault rifle was found at his home.
According to court documents, Michael Harte actually called police to his condo in Thomaston on New Year’s Eve, but so did his girlfriend.
When officers showed up for what they called was a domestic dispute, they found an unregistered high powered rifle.
There was no answer at Michael Harte's condo Friday afternoon
"He hasn't been here for a couple of weeks now,” Justin Carigan, who is a Naugatuck High School junior, said.
According to the high school's website, Harte teaches career exploration and job training.
Police first charged him with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after they said he tried kicking in a bedroom door his girlfriend was barricaded behind.
"It’s kind of shocking,” Carigan said. “I never knew he would do something like that."
As police were removing guns from the house, during that investigation, the girlfriend told them one more was hidden.
Under the bed, police found a fully loaded Bushmaster XM 15 with a 30 round high capacity magazine and one round in the chamber.
According to the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Harte purchased the rifle in 1999, but never registered it or the four magazines they found.
Harte was arrested on the gun charges earlier this month.
"The issue was having an assault rifle and large capacity magazines that under state statute now are supposed to be licensed with the state of Connecticut,” Thomaston Police Chief James Campbell said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Naugatuck’s superintendent a number of times to see if the charges would impact Harte’s role at the school and got no response.
When Eyewitness News showed up on Friday in person, we were told, she has no comment.
As for his students, they're just hoping everything works out with their teacher.
"He helped me get a job, helped me fill out the resume, gave me a letter of recommendation,” Kevin Crouse, who is a Naugatuck High School senior, said. "It’s kind of sad that happened."
Harte and his attorney did make an application on Thursday for a fire arm safety program.
He will be back in court next month.
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