Hempstead teacher accused of public lewdness

A Hempstead elementary school teacher was released on bail Friday after facing a judge on four counts of public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child.
Joshua Thomas, 32, was arrested Thursday on the grounds of Franklin Elementary School. Police tell News 12 Long Island that the teacher was arrested for public lewdness. Four times within the past few days, police say Thomas sat in his black Jeep on Sycamore Street near Hempstead High School and exposed himself as students walked by. Cops say a Hempstead resident spotted Thomas exposing himself, so they set up an undercover sting operation Thursday morning. Police say one of their detectives then caught the elementary school teacher in the act. School officials say Thomas has been suspended and is not allowed on the school's grounds. Counselors will also be available at the school to speak with students and parents.
Thomas lives in Central Islip and neighbors say he?s married with a 2-year-old daughter. Cops say it's possible he exposed himself in other areas besides Hempstead. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.