A teacher accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl and leading police on a chase last month from Lakewood to Rolling Hills Estates, where he drove over an embankment and crashed into a tree, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to seven felony charges.
Kip Richard Arnold, 51, is charged with three counts of committing a lewd act on a child, two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16 and one count each of sexual penetration by a foreign object and evading an officer.
Prosecutors allege Arnold had a sexual relationship with the then-14-year-old girl between June and September 2005. The girl, now an adult, recently notified authorities, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Arnold was most recently a physical education teacher at Southeast Middle School. Los Angeles Unified School District officials said he has worked for the district for eight years, previously teaching at Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School and Orchard Academies.
Arnold was under surveillance July 10 by Bell police at his Lakewood home in response to the woman's allegations. According to police, he walked out of his home, saw the officers and told them, "Hey, I know why you're here. I'm going to commit suicide."
Arnold then drove off, leading police on a high-speed chase through Torrance and onto Crenshaw Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates, where he swerved his pickup truck off the road and soared over an embankment, slamming into the base of a tree, authorities said.
He made his first court appearance in Downey Superior Court on July 18 after being discharged from a hospital.
Arnold was placed on unpaid compulsory leave July 16, according to an LAUSD representative.