Crime

School superintendent accused of biting jail correctional officer during DUI arrest in Merced

Robin Hopper, superintendent of Mariposa County Unified School District, faces possible criminal charges after authorities said she crashed while driving under the influence and then bit a jail correctional officer.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Hopper crashed into a utility pole along Highway 140 just east of Planada at around 6:05 p.m. Officers said she showed signs of intoxication and determined Hopper was under the influence after a number of sobriety tests.

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Robin Hopper Courtesy of Merced County Sheriff's Department

The 54-year-old superintendent was transported to Mercy Medical Center for medical release and chemical testing. Once cleared, she was taken to Merced County Jail, where she allegedly bit a correctional officer’s arm, said Merced County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Coburn.

Hopper was booked on a misdemeanor DUI charge and battery of a peace officer. She was released on bail Monday, Coburn said.

Efforts to reach Hopper for comment were not successful Wednesday.

Wayne Forsythe, Mariposa County Unified School District Board President, issued a statement on Tuesday on behalf of the entire school board. Forsythe acknowledged the arrest and said a special board meeting would be held Thursday night to discuss the matter further.

“I would like to make sure that parents know the education of our students is always our number one concern and any decisions made are in the best interest of the students,” the statement read.

Hopper has been serving as the district’s superintendent since 2014 but planned to resign when her contract ended in June. She was not in her office Wednesday and has been on sick leave since her arrest, according to the district.

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