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Scuffle erupts after recording device found at Las Vegas school, report says

A northeast Las Vegas elementary school computer technician got down on one knee and begged for police not be called after a recording device was found in a classroom, according to an arrest report.

After a Woolley Elementary School teacher found the digital audio recording device inside a sensor that had fallen from the ceiling on March 20, Haroon Rashid Zakai begged for police to not be called because it would ruin him, a Clark County School District Police Department arrest report said.

Zakai, a school district employee since February 2022, told the unidentified person who would call police that he had placed the recording device in the ceiling and was “trying to get recordings of student conversations for his AI device business to stop bullying,” the arrest report said.

Zakai grabbed the device, but the person told him to put it back down on her desk because it might have fingerprints on it, so he did. It wasn’t clear from the redacted report if this was the teacher who found the device.

Zakai continued to reach for the device, but the person told him to keep away from it.

Zakai then took the device and started with tampering with it, the report alleged, and kept saying “just let me delete it.”

When he tried to leave the classroom with the device, the person placed Zakai in what she described as a “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” hold which sent her and Zakai to the ground, the report said.

Zakai began to cry, and the person released him. He ran out of the room and ran to what the arrest report described as his room with the outer housing of the sensor and locked himself in.

The person had managed to gain control of the device and ran down to a witness room, where she waited for the police’s arrival.

When officers arrived at the school, near North Pecos Road and East Alexander Road, the school’s principal said that Zakai was no longer on the campus. He had told the principal that he was on his way home to drop his son off and that he would come back to the school to talk with police.

Zakai was arrested at about 5 p.m. at the school, the report said.

“The initial investigation indicates the matter only involved adults,” said a statement issued March 21 by the Clark County School District.

In arrest report, the officer who wrote the report said that a “classroom in a school would be considered a private area of a school that confidential information is discussed about juveniles and staff members with a reasonable expectation of privacy that said information would not be recorded without prior authorization from all parties involved in the conversations.”

Zakai faces charges of electronic surveillance at school without knowledge, attempt to destroy/conceal evidence, damage to property used for educational purposes and monitoring private conversations, according to the arrest report.

Zakai will “be on unpaid leave upon release per the negotiated agreement with the employee’s bargaining unit and will not be allowed on campus,” the school district said in the statement.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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