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Pa. teacher faces gun charge

March 13, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Greencastle-Antrim High School teacher John W. Ressler has been charged with having a handgun on school property, according to court records.

The Monday arrest stems from an Oct. 27 traffic stop made by a Greencastle police officer as Ressler, 52, of 12930 Forge Road, Mercersburg, Pa., was leaving the school, according to documents on file in District Justice Shirley Shatzer's Antrim Township office.

Ronald G. Troskoski, president of the Greencastle-Antrim School Board, said Ressler is still teaching at the high school. Troskoski referred questions to Schools Superintendent P. Duff Rearick.

Rearick's secretary said he was en route to a weekend meeting in Harrisburg, Pa., Friday afternoon.

Police Chief Terry Sanders could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Ressler also could not be reached.

The school district follows Pennsylvania regulations barring weapons on school property, Troskoski said. Students who violate the zero-tolerance policy are expelled, he said.

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Ressler was leaving the Greencastle-Antrim school grounds at 2:37 p.m. on Oct. 27 when he was seen by Greencastle Patrolman T.A. DeWitt making a left turn onto South Ridge Avenue in his blue 1993 Chevrolet pickup truck, court records said.

The truck then made a right turn onto Addition Street in violation of a sign prohibiting right turns there between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., according to court records.

DeWitt pulled Ressler over and asked for his driver's license, registration and proof of insurance, court records said.

The officer saw the .357-caliber handgun when Ressler opened the glove compartment, court records said.

"I forgot that it was in there," Ressler told the officer, according to court records. Ressler had a legal permit to carry the weapon, court records said.

Shatzer set Ressler's arraignment for April 6 at 3 p.m.

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