E.O. Smith High School math teacher, former University of Connecticut Adjunct Professor and Neag alumnus Daniel Bochicchio is on paid administrative leave following the release of an incriminating video by the online child-protection group POP (Preying on Predators) Squad, E.O. Smith Superintendent Jill Krieger confirmed.
Bochicchio traveled in the early morning of Aug. 6 to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old boy after communicating with him via the gay dating app Grindr. Once at the home, Bochicchio was greeted by the POP Squad, caught on video and then left the property.
POP Squad released the chat logs they had with Bochicchio toward the end of the video on their website.
“You cool with older?…I’m horny…C**k pic?,” Bochicchio said in the chat logs. “Your [sic] 14 right? No I’m not gonna [say] anything.”
“I’m here to have a conversation with you about you coming to meet a 14-year-old boy,” the man behind the camera, known as “Incognito,” said in the video.
Throughout the entire video, Bochicchio says “what’s going on?” and “what?” as he returns to his vehicle to leave after being confronted by Incognito and other POP Squad members.
The same day the video was released, Superintendent Krieger released a statement via email to the families of students informing them of the misconduct.
“Earlier today, numerous sources contacted E.O. Smith High School regarding a concern over possible inappropriate behavior of a staff member,” the email statement said. “Both the Connecticut State Police and the Department of Children and Families were immediately contacted. The staff member was put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. We are cooperating fully with the authorities on this investigation.”
Bochicchio is listed on the UConn staff and faculty directory as “adjunct faculty” in the Education Curriculum and Instruction department.
According to State of Connecticut payroll records, Bochicchio was originally hired as a state employee at UConn on July 30, 2010.
In 2015, the Neag Alumni Society at UConn recognized Bochicchio as an “outstanding graduate” and awarded him the Outstanding School Educator award.
“He has been an adjunct in the past, but was placed on leave and is not teaching at this time. His primary affiliation appears to be with the high school,” UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “He taught occasionally at UConn as an adjunct.”
One anonymous student who graduated from E.O. Smith High School in 2018 said that Bochicchio was the advisor of her graduating class, the E.O. Smith Math Team leader and taught her algebra two class.
“I did not believe it at first,” the student said. “I found it really hard to believe until I found the video. When you think about it, the amount of time [he] spent with kids, it just is gross to think about.”
POP Squad describes itself as “a movement that protects our innocent children from internet predators. We aim to not only expose these repeat offenders and unknown individuals, but also attempt to “get into their minds” and find some type of answers for their actions and compulsions.”
According to their website, POP Squad had caught 112 predators as of August 2018. Bochicchio is listed as number 106.
Luke Hajdasz is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.