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Northgate Middle School substitute teacher caught with heroin, passes out in class

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By Margaret Harding
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 3:24 p.m.

A substitute teacher is accused of being high during an art class at Northgate Middle/High School in Bellevue.

Bellevue police charged Christopher Chiappetta, 26, of Ross with endangering the welfare of children, possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Sgt. Michael Hudson, the school resource officer, was patrolling the school when he saw Chiappetta sleeping at his desk in the art room while 11 students were unsupervised at about 11:50 a.m. Wednesday. Hudson called Principal Bryan Kyle, who along with Superintendent Joseph Pasquerilla went into the classroom and woke Chiappetta, according to a criminal complaint.

Hudson wrote that Chiappetta had glassy eyes, pinpoint pupils, an unsteady gait and was disoriented. He denied medical problems, and Hudson noticed what appeared to be a scabbed-over needle mark on Chiappetta's arm, the complaint said.

Chiappetta denied using heroin but dropped a stamp bag once the principal cleared the room of students.

Chiappetta went to the principal's office, and Kyle told police Chiappetta had three other stamp bags on him.

Police found marijuana and blunt wrappers in Chiappetta's vehicle, the complaint said.

Police arrested Chiappetta and took him to the Allegheny County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $10,000 bond, online court records show. An attorney was not listed.

Pasquerilla said the district hired Chiappetta as a substitute “a couple times in the past” through the Northern Area Substitute Consortium.

“He's no longer going to be working here,” Pasquerilla said. “It's a very unfortunate event that somebody who got into education and works with kids would be such a poor role model.”

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8591 or

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