Crime & Justice

2nd Miramonte teacher suspected of lewd acts against children described by neighbors as a loner

Miramonte Elementary School
Miramonte Elementary School
José Martinez/OnCentral

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People in an Alhambra neighborhood responded to the arrest of a man who sheriff’s deputies believe committed lewd acts against children at Miramonte Elementary School in South Los Angeles, describing him as a loner.

Teacher Martin Springer, 49, is the second teacher from the school arrested on suspicion of lewd acts. He’s in custody on $2 million bail.

Springer lives in the second, tan house near the intersection of Geranio and Glendon streets.

No one answered the door.

Gabriel Urrutia, 40, who works for a brokerage firm, lives a couple houses down. He says Springer was a childhood friend.

“Played ball with him and stuff like that," Urrutia said, but "I haven’t really seen him in a lot of years until he moved back over here, and then occasionally we’d just give a head nod, like 'what’s up' and 'hello,' and that was it.”

One woman, who gave her first name as “Mae,” watched from her porch across the street. Her 8-year-old son stood nearby. She talked about how she felt.

“Scared... Especially, I have kids... I can’t believe it because he’s a teacher, right. He’s a teacher, right?”

One retired homeowner, who lives a block over, preferred only to give his first name — “George.” He and his girlfriend walk their dogs past Springer’s home everyday.

George says many of the neighbors, including Springer, keep to themselves in this well-to-do area.

“It’s too, too quiet," George said. "This is the way it is Saturdays and Sundays.”

When asked if he was surprised, George said “Very surprised. When I seen the news right now I said I’m going to drive over there and see what’s going on. Like I said, I never see that man.”

Some neighbors say they believe Springer lives in the house alone.