A Pittsburgh woman is facing charges for a violent assault on her child’s elementary school teacher.
The 29-year-old mother is accused of hitting the teacher with a brick after her daughter’s cell phone was taken away during class at the Pittsburgh King PreK-8 School, KDKA-TV reported.
The fourth-grade student allegedly bit 46-year-old Janice Watkins when the teacher, following the district’s “no cellphone” policy, confiscated the girl’s phone. The child’s mother, Dai’Shonta Williams, was called into the school and during the course of the meeting between them, the student claimed Watkins had tried to choke her.
Williams reportedly was angered by the situation and said the teacher was “going to get it later,” according to KDKA.
Sitting in traffic on her way home from work, Watkins saw a man and woman get out of their vehicle, according to investigators. The woman approached Watkins’ open driver’s side window and allegedly threw a brick through it, hitting the teacher in the head.
Watkins was then allegedly dragged out of her car by the woman, whom she identified as Williams, and was repeatedly punched and kicked by her, KDKA reported. The man and woman fled the scene before police arrived.
Watkins lost a tooth and was taken to the hospital to be treated for facial injuries.
Williams was arrested and charged Thursday on three counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of terroristic threats, stalking and reckless endangerment. She was taken to the Allegheny County Jail after being unable to post the $50,000 bail, KDKA reported.
“Sad and disappointed that people would go to such lengths against another human being over something so petty,” the victim’s husband, a Pittsburgh teacher who did not want to be identified, told KDKA. His wife was back in the hospital Thursday, he said, with severe headaches and in a lot of pain.
“Her face was numb, she has lumps all along her forehead and all along the side of her face. It’s not disfiguring, but it shouldn’t be there. It was caused by somebody else doing something crazy,” he said.
He also indicated that the situation could have been even worse, as he recounted the series of events that led to the assault.
“There was another teacher who was trying to get the cell phone. The little girl ran away from her, and my wife was run into and grabbed the phone off of the little girl, saying that she was going to take the phone to the office as per their procedure. And the little girl immediately starting cursing at her and bit her on her arm,” he told KDKA.
When police questioned WIlliams after the attack, she reportedly said, “I ain’t gonna lie, I did it.” While the mother denied throwing a brick at Watkins, she did say she punched her in the face.
“Violence of any kind against a PPS staff member or citizen is unacceptable, and the individuals responsible must be held accountable for such horrifying behavior,” the Pittsburgh Public School District said in a statement on Thursday. “Our thoughts are with the teacher who was injured in yesterday’s incident, and we wish her a full and speedy recovery.”
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