Wethersfield principal appears in court after arrest at Walmart - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Wethersfield principal appears in court after arrest at Walmart

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John Bean (Hartford police) John Bean (Hartford police)

A celebrated school administrator appeared in court on Tuesday morning after allegedly sneaking through a Hartford Walmart and taking pictures of young girls.

John Bean was arrested in late September, but was unable to appear in court at the time.

Bean's lawyer said his client was in the hospital for health reasons, but wouldn't divulge what they were.

Tuesday, Bean was arraigned at Hartford Superior Court.

Parents, past coworkers and much of the Wethersfield community said they were stunned when the highly regarded educator was apprehended by police.

They told Eyewitness News that Bean had a glistening reputation before the arrest. He won teacher of the year honors in South Windsor in 2004 and built a strong reputation among parents and school leaders in other towns where he worked, including Tolland.

In late September, Hartford police said they were called to the Walmart on Flatbush Avenue after Bean supposedly snapped photos or took video of girls as young as 8 years old with his cell phone. He was charged with resisting arrest and breach of peace.

Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley said that Bean was basically holding the phone up with an item to prevent it from being seen. When it appeared he was out of sight and away from the view of children, Foley said he'd look at what he had captured, then went back toward the children.

Security guards quickly became suspicious of Bean's apparent patterns that day, investigators said. Police said taking the photos was probably not against the state's voyeurism statutes. Initially, Bean refused to give his name to officers or hand over the phone.

He was placed on administrative leave by Wethersfield's superintendent following his arrest. 

His arraignment was held around 10 a.m. and his case was continued to Nov. 22. 

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