A New York City schoolteacher is facing multiple criminal charges after allegedly choking a 12-year-old student, police said Friday.
Chester Hingle, 45, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested Thursday.
According to the NYPD, the incident happened at I.S. 217 School of the Performing Arts on Fox Street in the Foxhurst section of the Bronx. Hingle allegedly choked the child for roughly 5 seconds.
It was not immediately clear what precipitated the incident.
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The student was subsequently taken to Lincoln Hospital, where they were treated and released.
"There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our students. This alleged behavior is completely unacceptable and will be fully investigated. This employee has been reassigned away from the school and students pending the outcome of the arrest and if convicted, we will pursue his termination," the DOE said in a statement.
Eighth grader Ethan Rodriguez said that he's never seen Hingle, whom he described as a gym teacher, put his hands on any of his classmates — even as he's seen other students get out of control.
"It's difficult in this school...because students go crazy over the years," Rodriguez said. "A lot of fights and they talk back a lot."
Rodriguez said that as of now, he wouldn't be comfortable having Hingle as his teacher after the incident he said took place in the school cafeteria.
If convicted, Hingle could face prison time or probation.