POCATELLO — Local police are asking for the public’s help uncovering what happened Tuesday morning when an ex-teacher who’s been accused of sexually abusing a student in his classroom was found bloodied and lying on the pavement of a parking lot.
Pocatello police responded to the employee parking lot of Virginia Transformers on the 3700 block of Pole Line Road around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday for the report of a man, later identified as Eric Popely, 47, of Pocatello, lying on the ground with blood on his face, police said.
Pocatello police say a foreman at the job site observed Popely standing near his vehicle around 6 a.m. Tuesday and that when the foreman took a break around 7:10 p.m. he observed Popely lying bloodied in the parking lot and phoned police.
When police arrived, they questioned Popely, who told police he could not remember what happened to him, adding that the last thing he did remember was stopping at a convenience store for a cup of coffee on the way to work, police said.
Popely told police that he had not received any threats or had any problems at work recently, police said.
Popely was subsequently transported to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello via Pocatello Fire Department ambulance following the incident, police said.
Pocatello police attempted to review footage from a surveillance camera system installed at Virginia Transformer but were told that it was not functioning at the time, police said.
Popely, a former special education teacher at Highland High School, has been charged with one count of sexually abusing a child under 16 for allegedly inappropriately touching a non-verbal female student in his classroom in January, the Idaho State Journal reported earlier this year. His employment ended after the allegations against him surfaced.
Popely recently agreed to plead guilty to the charge, though Bannock County prosecutors declined to provide the exact details of the plea agreement to the Journal last week.
Anyone with any information about the Tuesday morning incident involving Popely is encouraged to contact the Pocatello Police Department at 208-264-6100.