Kennedale coach arrested, accused of improper photography at school

03/19/2014 3:44 PM

11/12/2014 4:18 PM

A Kennedale High School assistant football coach was in custody Wednesday, accused of improper photography or visual recording after a hidden video camera was found in a faculty bathroom at the school, authorities said.

A female teacher found the camera Monday morning when it fell from the bottom of a sink, Kennedale police said.

Kennedale police identified the coach as Jason Tomlinson, 29, of Mansfield. He was arrested Tuesday night at his home.

“This is an ongoing investigation and it could take the rest of the week to wrap up,” Kennedale Police Chief Tommy Williams said Wednesday. “We’re still trying to determine how long the camera had been there, how many images, were any shared with other people and if students were on it.”

The school district’s response was somber.

“Kennedale ISD is shocked and deeply saddened by the allegations against Mr. Jason Tomlinson,” school spokeswoman Erin Hyden said Wednesday in an email. “Kennedale ISD is cooperating fully with law enforcement officials and we have taken all appropriate actions in accordance with the law and district policy.”

Hyden said that Tomlinson was placed on administrative leave effective immediately.

Williams said an investigation began Monday morning after the teacher found the camera and reported it to a vice principal, who alerted a school resource officer.

“Video images led detectives to the suspect,” Williams said, but he said he had not seen the video and couldn’t give any details about the images.

Detectives obtained search and arrest warrants Tuesday and took Tomlinson into custody that night without incident at his Mansfield home and remained in the Mansfield Jail Wednesday with bail set at $100,000.

Officers removed computer equipment from Tomlinson’s home, Williams said.

“We also obtained a warrant and removed computer and related equipment from his school office,” he said.

Tomlinson faces a charge of improper photography or visual recording, police said, but charges could be added once the investigation is complete.

School officials declined to confirm information about Tomlinson’s background. But according to Star-Telegram archives, Tomlinson was a standout athlete at Kennedale High School, where he graduated in 2003. According to his biography on the Navy Football website, navysports.com, he also attended the U.S. Naval Academy.

Tomlinson was an all-around athlete at Kennedale, where he earned the nickname of “Super J” from teammates and coaches, according to the archives.

The newspaper named him the “Arlington area’s top senior Athlete of the Year” when he graduated in June 2003.

Before that, he earned first-team all-district honors in football, basketball and baseball and narrowly missed a trip to the Class 3A state track meet, the archives state. Tomlinson also played soccer outside of school before his senior season, according to the archives.

On his LinkedIn page he notes that he attended the Naval Academy from 2003 to 2007.

As a wide receiver for Navy, Tomlinson was a starter going into the 2006 season. He was considered “possibly the most talented player on the offensive side of the football,” according to the biography on the Navy Football website.

He apparently did not receive an officer’s commission, because he then served in the Navy as a petty officer second class from 2007 to 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Also on LinkedIn, Tomlinson lists a bachelor’s degree in university studies with concentration in business, physical science and social science from the University of Texas at Arlington.

He attended UTA from 2010 to 2012 and also earned a master’s degree in architecture from there in 2012, according to LinkedIn.

Other career experience listed on the page shows Tomlinson was a loan officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

His LinkedIn page shows he went to work at Kennedale High School in January 2013.

Staff Writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.

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