Sub teacher arrested for allegedly making threats

January 27, 2011 3:10:13 PM PST
A substitute teacher has been arrested in the case of threatening phone calls made to businesses and residents in Bay City. Paul Nolen May, 41, was arrested Wednesday night on 12 charges of terroristic threat. Each allegation is a separate third degree felony carrying a penalty range of up to 10 years in prison.

Investigators are looking into whether the case is connected to threats made earlier this month that led to hundreds of parents keeping their kids home from school in Bay City.

Officers obtained a search warrant for May's home and arrested him Wednesday. The school district's superintendent was told about the arrest late Wednesday night. The calls came weeks after several other threats were made against the district and students. Right now, it's unclear if Paul May had anything to do with them.

May has been called one of the most dependable substitute teachers in Bay City ISD.

"Phenomenal performance based on what my principals have told me and has really helped us excel in the area of science," Bay City ISD Superintendent Keith Brown said. "What I can tell you about him is that he was a substitute teacher and he was very successful in his profession."

Last night, authorities arrested the 41-year-old substitute teacher on 12 counts of making terroristic threats. May was taken into custody in connection with a series of threatening anonymous phone calls to local businesses and Bay City residents.

No one answered the door at May's home Thursday afternoon. Those who know him from Bay City High School where he subbed regularly are stunned.

"He was real nice, polite. I asked him where he had to go and he told me. He followed the rules," said parent Renee Gomez.

The calls were made weeks after two threatening letters demanding changes within Bay City ISD were sent to the district. The letters were followed by two bomb threats and a disturbing text message, though investigators say the trail in those cases has grown cold.

The caller on Wednesday cited February 1 as the deadline or else students would be harmed. Several of May's students told us they refuse to jump to any conclusions until all the facts come out.

"He was pretty nice to me. He was pretty nice to everybody in the class that I had, but I really don't think he would do anything like this. I wouldn't think it would be him," said student Taelor Cervantes.

May was booked into the Matagorda County Jail and his bond has been set at $240,000 - that's $20,000 for each count.

May's arrest does not mean that the case is closed. The Matagorda County District Attorney told us that the investigation is still ongoing.

Authorities are also looking into the possibility that others may have been involved.