A teacher's aide who is also an assistant football coach at a high school in Burlington County has been arrested after prosecutors say he had a gun in his vehicle on school grounds and juveniles were able to access it.

40-year-old Andrew Paden of Willingboro works at Rancocas Valley Regional High School; he's been charged with the following:

  • Second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon
  • Third-degree possession of a weapon on school grounds without permission
  • Third-degree witness tampering

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office says an investigation began on October 10th after Mount Holly police were contacted by school officials. A student had come forward saying he saw kids inside Paden's vehicle playing with a gun during a junior varsity football game a day earlier.

According to authorities, Paden had taken some of the juveniles to that game and had given permission for them to be inside of his vehicle.

Rancocas Valley Regional High School - Photo: Google Maps
Rancocas Valley Regional High School - Photo: Google Maps

Following the incident, Paden allegedly pressured one of the youths to provide false information to investigators, saying he was concerned he might lose his job.

After being processed at the Mount Holly Township Police Department, Paden was released.

The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment. The school district has placed Paden on administrative leave.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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