A security guard at an Oakland, California, high school was reportedly fired and charged with felony child abuse after he allegedly handcuffed, punched and threw a student from his wheelchair, according to CBS San Francisco.
Security footage of the incident, in which a man reported to be Marchell Mitchell, 23, can be seen punching a student — identified by the San Francisco Chronicle as Francisco Martinez — in a school hallway, was released to news stations. The man identified as Mitchell then dumps the student from his wheelchair and appears as if he is preparing to strike the child again when another security guard restrains him.
The incident occurred on May 19 at Oakland High School. In a statement, school Principal Matin Abdel-Qawi said, “I’m shocked and deeply hurt by this behavior and apologize on behalf of the staff at Oakland High. This incident is not reflective of the kind of culture we cherish at our school or how we treat one another.”
Mitchell and a co-worker were reportedly attempting to get students to go to their classrooms when the altercation took place.
The security officer identified as Mitchell tried to roll the boy to class, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The boy, who has cerebral palsy, reportedly slapped at the officer’s hand. The officer responded by handcuffing the boy to his wheelchair, at which point, according to reports, the boy spit in the officer’s face. That’s when the man identified as Mitchell threw the boy from his chair.
Mitchell was fired from his job earlier this month. He is free after posting $10,000 bail, according to the Chronicle. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of corporal injury to a child, according to The Associated Press.
His next court appearance is scheduled for June 16. The student was taken to the hospital for unspecified injuries and was expected to make a full recovery.
Oakland Unified School District spokesperson Troy Flynt told Yahoo News that the district “condemns the actions of the school security officer in the strongest possible terms. What he did was a complete betrayal of the public’s trust.”
Flynt added that the district is investigating training practices “with a special concern for the importance of de-escalating conflict.”