Teacher makes toddler daughter get inside arcade game machine, instructs her to steal prizes
Anthony Helinski, 34, who is a teacher at Doherty Middle School in Andover, turned himself in after he was caught on video stealing prizes from an arcade game with his children
A 34-year-old teacher from Lawrence, Massachusetts has been accused of using his toddler daughter as an accomplice to help him steal prizes from an arcade game, according to police officials.
The man, identified as Anthony Helinski, was reportedly caught in the act on a surveillance camera and eventually surrendered to police in New Hampshire on Wednesday. Helinski, who has since been removed from the classroom, was spotted teaching his daughter on how to steal prizes from an aracade game at the Mall of Rockingham Park in Salem on September 14.
According to Eagle-Tribune, Helinski, teacher at Doherty Middle School in Andover, turned himself in with an attorney after he became aware that a warrant for his arrest has been issued.
Helinski’s attorney, Christopher Coughlin, said: "This allegation is not in line with his reputation and character," adding that the teacher was embarassed by his actions, according to the New York Post.
School officials also released a statement saying: "Andover Public Schools is fully cooperating with authorities. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.”
A clip of the incident shows the 34-year-old teaching his young daughter on how to remove the prizes as she is inside the game. The video also shows Helinski's son, who seems to be between five and seven years old, grabbing the prize after the girl throws it out of the machine. The teacher then proceeds to instruct his daughter on how to get herself outside of the arcade game.
Helinski tells the girl: "Turn around … sit up. Now you can stand up. Turn around, put your butt on the floor. Put your back against this.” At one point, the girl can be seen poking her head out of the bottom of the game.
Toddler steals prizes from inside arcade game https://t.co/MK5ilik2HK— BlueLighting (@GJByTheLake) September 21, 2018
The entire incident was reportedly witnessed by a hostess at a restaurant who immediately alerted the mall security as she spotted them leaving with multiple prizes.
Helinski’s lawyer, however, insisted that the video does not tell the entire story of what exactly unfolded. Coughlin has not provided any further explanations.
Reports state that, after the teacher turned himself in, he was charged with three counts of theft, two counts of criminal trespassing and endangering the welfare of a child.