Bothell High teacher explains to police why he falsely said someone attacked him

BOTHELL, Wash. — For the first time, we are learning the reason why a popular teacher admitted to lying about being attacked at Bothell High School.

In May, teacher Cal Pygott made headlines after the teacher claimed someone violently attacked him in his wood shop classroom, hitting him on the back of the head and then strangling him with a zip tie.

The mysterious attack caused fear in the community, classes were canceled and police launched a massive investigation. It was only three months after making those claims that the Bothell High School teacher finally confessed to making it all up.

In the beginning of his three-hour interview with detectives, teacher Pygott sticks to his story.

“I feel a sharp hit in the back of my head, I’m face down in a concrete floor in a pool of blood ... I can feel something on my neck,” Pygott is heard saying on the audio tape of the police interview.

But after failing a polygraph, Pygott confesses to making everything up. He tells police it was suicide attempt and he lied to save his legacy.

“Had a mountain of debt, you're worth more dead than you are alive,” Pygott said of his financial problems.

Pygott explained that he put a zip tie around his neck and hit his head with a hammer multiple times but Bothell detectives in the interview clearly did not buy it.

“You didn’t have any injuries at all, you didn’t have any concussions at all,” a detective replies.

Detectives bring up another possible motive involving his performance at Bothell High School.

“Wasn’t there something about your evaluation, them asking you to be more attentive to your school and your students?" a detective said.

Pygott never admits to having problems at the school but detectives say the investigation is clear enough to them to recommend criminal charges against the teacher.

Soon after the May incident, Pygott gave Q13 News an interview thanking the community for all their support but on Wednesday he had no comment about the possible charges.

During the interview with police, Pygott did tell detectives that he understood the impact his lies had on the community.

“I do understand that a lot of people were inconvenienced and put on alert, costs and so forth,” Pygott said.

Bothell police say they will be recommending two different charges against Pygott -- obstructing and providing false and misleading statements.  Those recommendations will reach the prosecuting attorney’s office in Bothell in about week and ultimately it will be up to them to charge Pygott.

Pygott remains on paid administrative leave until Northshore School District makes a decision on his future.