Joel Paul Schroter
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

High school orchestra teacher in Cobb faces DUI, assault charges after crash

Kennesaw Mountain High School’s orchestra director faces DUI and aggravated assault charges after authorities said he crashed into another car while driving under the influence of drugs.

The bizarre incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. June 15 near the intersection of Barrett Parkway and Old 41 Highway in Kennesaw, arrest warrants show. 

Witnesses said 43-year-old Joel Schroter drove past them at a high rate of speed and appeared to intentionally strike another car carrying a couple and their infant daughter, according to a Kennesaw police report. 

Schroter, who wasn’t wearing shoes when police arrived on scene, reportedly ran toward the couple after the collision and began yelling about how he meant to crash into them and meet them, calling it “a sign from God.” 

The mother of the 4-month-old girl told police Schroter repeatedly said that he wanted to kill her baby, according to the incident report. She had wounds to her left arm and complained of a head injury from the crash, but the child appeared unharmed. All three passengers were taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. 

When officers arrived, the orchestra instructor reportedly galloped toward them, flailing his arms and giggling uncontrollably, Kennesaw police said.

According to the report, he told officers, “this was done in love” and that he was “on the space shuttle,” while repeatedly ignoring their commands. Two officers on scene forced him to the ground and handcuffed him before carrying him to the back of the patrol car with his legs dangling in the air, police said.

Schroter’s warrant alleges that he was under the influence of a drug at the time, “possibly LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, or (a) synthetic/natural hallucinogen.” 

He also had a puppy in his Mazda at the time of the crash. The dog was turned over to Cobb County Animal Control. 

Schroter is charged with aggravated assault, driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, obstruction of law enforcement, driving too fast for conditions and failure to maintain lane, jail records show. He was released the following morning on a $16,720 bond.

His employment status with the high school is unclear.

“The district is aware of the arrest of a Kennesaw Mountain High School teacher,” a Cobb School District spokeswoman said in a statement Wednesday. “Due to privacy restrictions, the district cannot provide additional information during an ongoing investigation. We will act in accordance with any relevant district policy upon the conclusion of the police investigation.”

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