Oakland school security officer faces charges for alleged assault on student in wheelchair

A security guard at a California high school who allegedly hit a student with cerebral palsy and dumped him from a wheelchair faces a felony charge.
By Frances Burns  |  May 30, 2014 at 1:26 PM
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OAKLAND, Calif., May 30 (UPI) -- A security officer at Oakland High School in California assaulted a student in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, the principal says.

In a letter to parents, Matin Abdel-Qawi called the incident "an aberration, but a severe one." A spokesman said the guard, Marchell Mitchell, 23, was fired the day of the alleged attack.

Mitchell has also been charged with a felony, inflicting corporal injury on a child, officials say. He is free on bail.

Abdel-Qawi said Mitchell and another guard were trying to get students out of the corridors and into class at 9 a.m. on May 19 when the conflict with Francisco Martinez, a freshman at the high school, occurred. The principal said that when the teenager was slow to respond to his orders, Mitchell pushed the wheelchair. Martinez attempted to slap him away, Mitchell handcuffed him, and the student spat in Mitchell's face.

"The security officer then struck the student several times before dumping him from his wheelchair onto the floor, at which time another security officer intervened to restrain his partner," Abdel-Qawi told parents.

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