ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A former teacher and high school basketball coach is accused of making a bomb threat to a school where he used to work.
Even though it happened a while ago, KRQE News 13 learned Lucas Montoya has been working in schools ever since.
When the Santa Fe school got a call saying someone was going to blow it up, police were shocked to learn the man allegedly calling had been a teacher there.
Montoya, 26, was arrested Wednesday for not showing up to court on a warrant related to calling in a bomb threat to a school.
“The initial information that came from the caller who we believe was from the schools did state that they had found out that he had a warrant, and they had asked him to leave the campus,” said Detective Solomon Romero, of the Española Police Department.
The school Romero was referring to is McCurdy High in Española, where police said Montoya has been coaching Junior Varsity basketball. McCurdy officials would not confirm that or comment on Montoya.
However, the warrant for the bomb threat is from Tierra Encantada Charter school in Santa Fe, where in 2012, police said the high school got a call from a man cursing, saying “you better get everybody out of the building cause I’m gonna blow it up.”
According to police, the administrative assistant who answered the phone said she recognized Montoya’s voice as the man making the bomb threat.
School officials at Tierra Encantada said Montoya was an educational assistant there and had quit.
At the time the fake bomb threat was called in, a police report states Montoya was trying to get unemployment by claiming he left the school due to a hostile work environment.
“It’s very surprising for him to be sitting in that capacity,” said Romero. “Just the threat itself takes away from their education to get the scene cleared.”
As police said he’d been coaching at McCurdy since the threat, KRQE News 13 also learned Montoya is a substitute teacher at Pojoaque Valley High. Pojoaque Valley High officials said they weren’t aware of his arrest or his active warrant.
Online court records show Montoya never showed up to his court summons last September for the bomb threat arraignment. He’s now in jail on a no-bond hold.
A Tierra Encantada official told police the bomb threat came in a half-hour before a hearing where the school planned on arguing to deny unemployment benefits for Montoya.