A fifth-grade teacher who jumped bail nearly three years ago to avoid prosecution on felony charges of molesting students was brought back to Los Angeles in handcuffs today after he was found in a homeless camp in Ventura.
Don Ray Moore, 56, who had taught for 16 years at the 97th Street School, told police that he had been living among Southern California's homeless since August, 1987, when 21 felony counts were filed against him. He was already facing trial on misdemeanor charges of molestation and illegal child paddling.
Moore, his goatee shaved off and his gray hair partly dyed auburn, was driven into Parker Center downtown about 11:30 a.m. and walked inside. He was held on $500,000 bail, and police said he should be arraigned on Monday.
"I think in a way he's probably glad it's all over," said Detective Ralph Bennett, who went to Ventura to bring Moore to Los Angeles. "He said it was a very difficult time."
Moore was recognized by a gas company employee who saw his face broadcast last Sunday on the television show "America's Most Wanted." The employee called Ventura police, who arrested Moore. The gas employee had been working around the homeless encampment where Moore had been living, Bennett said.