RIDGEFIELD PARK — A veteran Union City High School music teacher was suspended after being arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer near the AMC movie theater in Ridgefield Park on Sunday night.

A search of the teacher's vehicle turned up marijuana, sex toys and a hatchet, according to police.

In a letter to parents, superintendent Silvia Abbato told parents that the district had not seen a police report of the incident involving teacher Jean-Claude Santini but she was "deeply concerned about the allegations" and suspended him.

Ridgefield Park police told NJ.com that Santini was in a “suspicious vehicle” with a woman in the theater's parking garage. Police, who had the garage under surveillance, said the car appeared to be hiding something when officers approached. Santini got out and shoved the officer against another car, police said, adding that the officer wrestled Santini to the ground.

The Daily Voice reported that the woman Santini was with was 18 years old and tried to run away.  The news report also said that Santini has a number of previous criminal charges, including assaulting law enforcement and drug possession.

Public records show Santini has been a music teacher at Union City High School for 14 years earning $64,730 per year.

Abbato and Ridgefield Park police have not yet returned messages.

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