- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 1, 2014

A security guard at a California high school has been charged after surveillance footage showed him assaulting a disabled student in a wheelchair.

A letter sent to parents from Oakland High School principal Matin Abdel-Qawi said Francisco Martinez, a freshman who suffers from cerebral palsy, was late to class and lingering in the hallway on May 19, CBS San Francisco reported.

One security officer, identified as 23-year-old Marchell Mitchell, ordered the student to get to class but he didn’t comply or was slow to do so, according to Abdel-Qawi, CBS said.

The letter says Mr. Mitchell began to push the wheelchair, but the student then slapped the officer’s hands away.

“In response, the security officer handcuffed the student and continued to roll him toward class,” Abdel-Qawi continues. “At this point, the student turned around in his wheelchair and spat in the face of the [security officer].”

Surveillance footage shows Mr. Mitchell striking the boy at least five times before dumping him from his wheelchair onto the floor, “at which time another security officer intervened to restrain his partner,” the letter says.

The officer was arrested for assault, child abuse and other charges. The boy was taken to the hospital for his injuries but was expected to recover, CBS reported.

“I’m shocked and deeply hurt by this behavior and apologize on behalf of the staff at Oakland High,” said Abdel-Qawi. “This incident is not reflective of the kind of culture we cherish at our school or how we treat one another.”

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