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updated: 1/31/2011 6:01 PM

Niles High teacher/coach arrested on drug, alcohol charges

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A gym teacher and varsity wrestling coach from a Niles high school was arrested by Skokie Police Saturday and charged with various drug and alcohol related crimes.

Matthew Hampton, of the 1200 block of Sherman Avenue, was arrested at about 1 a.m. Saturday in the 8000 block of Lincoln Avenue, said Deputy Chief Anthony Scarpelli.

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He said Hampton was found sitting in his Jeep when a police officer approached. The officer smelled alcohol when questioning Hampton.

Scarpelli said officers also found a clear plastic bag containing marijuana on the passenger seat of the car. A ceramic pipe was found tucked between the vehicle's front seats during a K-9 search, he added.

Scarpelli said Hampton had a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit when arrested.

Hampton has officially been charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, and single counts of possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hampton is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court in Skokie on October 19, 2010.

Jim Szczepaniak, comunity relations director of Niles Township High School District 219, said Hampton has been suspended from teaching, and the board is reviewing his employment at the high school.

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