Police: Teacher charged after taking boy to Fla.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Miami Beach police say a Providence elementary school teacher is facing a felony criminal charge after allegedly taking a 15-year-old from Rhode Island to Florida without his parents’ knowledge.
The police report shows 56-year-old David Jones of Cranston was arrested Wednesday after the boy was reported missing in Rhode Island. The report says the boy’s parents later learned he was in Miami Beach with Jones, and that authorities located the two walking along a road. Jones has been charged with ‘‘interference with custody.’’
The police report says Jones admitted taking the boy to Florida without his parents’ knowledge or consent and exchanging sexually explicit text messages with him. The boy told authorities that his parents did not consent to his travel to Florida and that Jones had wanted to have a sexual relationship with him, according to police.
Jones has been placed on administrative leave, according to a statement from Providence schools spokeswoman Christina O'Reilly.
‘‘Given the nature of the charges, and that they involve a minor previously taught by the individual, we will be launching our own internal investigation in concert with law enforcement,’’ O'Reilly said in the statement.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Jones has a lawyer. Miami-Dade jail records showed Friday that Jones was being held on $9,000 bond.
Mayor Angel Taveras said in a statement Friday he is ‘‘very concerned’’ about the arrest. He said Providence police are working with Florida law enforcement officials and the FBI to investigate.
‘‘As a parent and as the mayor of Providence, there is no higher priority for me than the safety and well-being of our children,’’ Taveras said.
The mayor’s office did not offer additional details. Spokesman David Ortiz could not immediately be reached.
Associated Press writer David Fischer in Miami contributed to this report.