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Principal Harassed by Estranged Husband at New Rochelle Elementary School, Cops Say

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Principal Harassed by Estranged Husband at New Rochelle Elementary School, Cops Say

February 18, 2016 - 19:10
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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Peter Dipietrantonio, 40 of the Bronx, NY was arrested on Tuesday after he surrendered to New Rochelle Police following a dispute with his estranged wife, an employee of the City School District of New Rochelle.

Dipietrantonio allegedly confronted Kimmerly Nieves, Principal at Jefferson School, at about 8 a.m. in the school parking lot. According to police, Dipietrantonio refused demands of Nieves that he leave her alone.

Nieves then entered the school building. Dipietrantonio followed her into the school. Once inside the school the dispute continue with Nieves making further demands that Dipietrantonio leave the school. Dipietrantonio subsequently left the school and surrendered himself to police.

Dipietrantonio was charged with one count of First Degree Harassment, a Class B Misdemeanor.

Allowing Dipietrantonio entry into the building, under the circumstances, may represent a violation of the board-approved School Safety Plan.

There have been several major security failures at Jefferson School since Nieves was appointed Principal.

In 2011, Jose Martinez, an Assistant Principal at Jefferson School, was arrested and charged with crimes related to repeatedly raping a student at Isaac Young Middle School, where he worked months prior to being appointed as AP at Jefferson. Prior to his arrest, Martinez cleaned out his desk over a weekend and left a resignation letter for Nieves which she failed to report to central office for two days as Martinez went into hiding.

In 2012, the school was put on lockdown/lockout after police received a report of armed snatch-and-grab robbery on nearby Drake Avenue. Police received numerous reports of the suspect running around on the Jefferson campus. The suspect was never caught.

However, moments after police gave up hope of locating the suspect and gave the "all clear" to the school, the suspect was located in nearby D'Onofrio Park and pursuit began again with helicopters, bloodhounds and police officers from three jurisdictions. Despite a reportedly armed suspect on the loose in the area of the school, students were released anyway, into the area of an active manhunt involving a person believed to be armed and dangerous. Police later determined from a victim interview that the suspect was not armed.

In 2013, Nieves allowed a masked man to enter the building after appearing at the school and announcing "I'm here to protect the children". In an official statement, the NRPD reported that the school's response was to call School Security Director Bruce Daniele who then called police. In fact, Daniele was called only after Nieves invited the man wearing what police described as a "Zorro mask" into her office, met with him, the allowed him to leave the building without following any of the board-approved security protocols.