Teacher Drives Student to Canada, Dies from Balcony Fall

Associated Press State & Local Wire
March 7, 2003

A suspended Roman Catholic high school teacher accused of taking a 15-year-old female student to Canada fell to his death early Thursday while police were looking for him and the girl, authorities said.

Police in Welland, Ontario, were trying to find Thomas Lemmon when he jumped from a fourth-floor balcony at his family's home about 10:45 a.m., Canadian officials said. Lemmon, 38, had been suspended from Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown after classes Wednesday.

It was unclear whether Lemmon was attempting to flee or committed suicide, Cambria County District Attorney Dave Tulowitzki said.

The Niagara Regional Police Service refused to release any information about Lemmon's death until an investigation is completed.

Lemmon died from massive trauma to the head and neck, the province's Special Investigations Unit said Friday. The agency will not release whether Lemmon's death was an accident or a suicide until it completes a report in about a month, spokeswoman Kaia Werbus said.

Officials with the Altoona-Johnstown diocese would not say why Lemmon was suspended. The girl, a student at Bishop McCort whose identity was not released, was in the custody of Canadian social services and was to be returned home soon, Tulowitzki said. She was not injured.

Lemmon, who lived in Johnstown, was married and had two children.

The girl's mother contacted Johnstown authorities and reported her daughter missing about 5:30 p.m. after the girl and Lemmon did not show up at a church in nearby Ebensburg for Ash Wednesday services, authorities said. The mother knew the two were supposed to be going to church together, according to a court document.

Police talked to another teenager who said the girl and Lemmon were going to Canada, according to the document. Johnstown police said they learned the two might be headed to Welland, located about 25 miles west of Buffalo, where Lemmon's mother lived.

An extradition order was issued, charging Lemmon with interfering with the custody of children. Canadian police were contacted, and, according to a news release from Johnstown authorities, Lemmon "reportedly jumped" as detectives reached the residence in Welland.

Charles Koren, superintendent of schools for the diocese, said Lemmon had been a teacher at Bishop McCort since 1987 and taught religion and computer classes. He was an ordained deacon, though he did not serve in a religious capacity at the school, Koren said.

A woman who identified herself as Lemmon's wife declined comment when reached at home Thursday.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems