Police: Student put teacher in chokehold, attacked others in Kearns High classroom

Nov 28, 2023, 10:43 PM | Updated: 11:34 pm

KEARNS — A disturbing fight in a Kearns High School classroom Tuesday ended with a student in juvenile detention after police said the student put a teacher in a chokehold, before assaulting two other adults as they tried to free the teacher in front of students.

Sgt. Melody Cutler with Unified Police Department said the incident was traumatizing for students who witnessed it.

“It’s really serious,” she said. “When you look at the realities of a teacher that’s been put in danger, that students even in that classroom were in danger.”

She said that it started when a 14-year-old student walked into class late in the 11 o’clock hour, then got into an argument with his teacher. Cutler said the teacher asked the student to leave.

“They were arguing, and then the teacher went and picked up his things and tried to escort him out of the room, when he grabbed her and put her in a chokehold,” Cutler said.

She described the student as 5-foot 10-inches tall and 300 pounds. Cutler said as the teacher struggled under the chokehold, a school administrator responded with a school resource officer close behind.

The administrator tried to subdue the student, and Cutler said that’s when the student bit the administrator in the back of the head a couple times.

“We have the teacher that he put in a chokehold, the administrator that he was biting, and then during the scuffle as they were trying to get control of him, apparently his shoe came off.”

The student then allegedly used the shoe to continue the attack as the school resource officer walked in the room.

“He was able to pick up that shoe and break free from the other administrators and hit the officer across the face with the shoe,” she said.

The adults eventually got things under control, and no one suffered any serious injuries, according to Cutler, but the event itself was an extremely serious situation she says.

“Given that you have basically a fight going on in this room full of other students, not to mention the trauma that they experience from having to witness these incidents.”

Cutler said the administrator was treated for the bites, and the teacher is recovering. The student was taken to juvenile detention on two felony aggravated assault charges as well as misdemeanor charges that included assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, interfering with an arrest, and unlawful acts on school grounds.

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Police: Student put teacher in chokehold, attacked others in Kearns High classroom