Teen accused of kicking special needs student faces assault charge
February 9, 2016 11:44 PM
Isaiah Wooding, 16, a sophomore at Penn Hills High School, says what upsets him most about the incident, in which he was kicked in the chest by another student, is "the pain it's caused my mother."
By Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A 17-year-old Penn Hills High School student faces a simple assault charge after police said he kicked a special needs student to the floor at the school Friday.
Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton said the teenager, whose name he would not release, would be charged as a juvenile by summons Tuesday afternoon or today.
The teen is accused of kicking 16-year-old Isaiah Wooding, who has cerebral palsy, in the chest while other students laughed about 7:30 a.m. Friday. The encounter was captured on video and posted on social media. Detectives reviewed the school’s surveillance video of the incident Tuesday morning.
“The school district’s video is very clear. They know who the student is. They had no trouble identifying him,” the chief said.
Bystanders will not be criminally charged but could face disciplinary action from the school, he said.
Penn Hills superintendent Nancy Hines did not respond to emailed questions Tuesday.
Chief Burton said the incident did not warrant an aggravated assault charge because such a crime must result in major injuries.
Isaiah’s mother, Margaret Wooding, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday that school officials did not inform her of the assault but left a message on her voicemail saying he had hit his head. Isaiah came home with a note from a school nurse saying she examined him for a head injury and provided a list of signs of a concussion. He remained at home Monday because of a headache and chest pain, his mother said, and was expected to return to school Tuesday.
Molly Born: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @molly_born. Staff writer Mary Niederberger contributed.
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