Police: Teacher drunk on field trip

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Frank Schultz
Saturday, June 8, 2013

— A Janesville teacher who passed out while supervising a field trip later was found to have a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit for driving, a police report states.

Maria L. Caya, 50, became sick and passed out during the field trip with students at River’s Edge Bowl on Thursday, according to the report.

Human Resources Director Steve Sperry said the district is conducting “a fact-finding investigation” into the incident.

The field trip Thursday morning included fourth-graders from Washington Elementary School. Caya was one of nine employees who accompanied the students, Sperry said. He did not know the number of students.

Thursday was the last day of classes for the school year.

District spokesman Brett Berg confirmed that Caya went home ill Thursday. He and Sperry said the children remained safe at all times.

Caya’s husband took her home, Sperry said.

Her husband later took her to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville, where at noon her blood-alcohol level registered 0.27 percent, the police report states.

A hospital social worker told the police officer that her superior told her to contact police.

“Maria admitted to staff at the ER that she consumed alcohol at 6 a.m. this morning before supervising on the field trip,” the report states.

“It appears Maria’s passing out may have been due to alcohol consumption,” the police officer wrote in his report.

The social worker said Caya did not want treatment for alcohol illness and “did not believe she would meet classifications for a police detox,” the report states.

“(The social worker) was however concerned that she was supervising a group of children while intoxicated,” the report states.

The officer contacted Caya at the emergency room, but her husband, who is a Janesville attorney, advised her not to comment, the report states.

Police did not arrest Caya. Copies of the report were forwarded to Child Protective Services and the Janesville School District, the report indicates.

The officer filing the report indicated no follow-up was necessary. When asked about the case, however, Deputy Chief Dan Davis said police would investigate further.

It’s possible but perhaps not probable that a crime was committed, Davis said.

Questions must be answered about the circumstances and Caya’s actions at the bowling alley, Davis said.

“We just need more information,” Davis said.

Sperry did not immediately know how long Caya had worked for the district.

Sperry said he would not comment on whether Caya was intoxicated on the job until he had all the facts. He said information gathered in the investigation would be treated “with confidentiality.”

Last updated: 7:55 am Monday, July 29, 2013

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