Nathan Hale student arrested after principal is tackled
Seattle police say they arrested a Nathan Hale sophomore Thursday after he tackled his principal trying to get his confiscated phone back.
Seattle Times education reporter
A Nathan Hale High School sophomore chased his principal down the hallway Thursday morning and tackled her to get the cellphone she had just confiscated from him, according to a Seattle police report.
Another student had to pull him off, according to police, who arrested the 15-year-old and transported him to the King County Juvenile Detention Center, where he spent the night.
The principal, Jill Hudson, told police she had pain in her left wrist and hand, back and knees, but declined medical attention, according to the report.
The Seattle Times is not naming the teen because he is a juvenile and has not yet been charged with a crime.
Hudson told police that she had been in the commons area Thursday morning and approached a student who was just back from a three-day suspension for fighting, according to the report. She wanted to make sure he had checked into the office before returning to class.
She noticed the student was watching a fight video on his phone, a violation of school policy that forbids students from using their phones during school.
She said that when she confiscated the phone, the student grabbed her by the shoulder and tried to get it back. She tried to get away, but he held on and tried to grab for the phone.
Then she ran and yelled for help, but the student chased her down in the hallway adjoining the commons area, grabbed her and tried again to get the phone, according to the report. She said they struggled briefly and then he tackled her to the ground, injuring her left hand, and wrestled with her until another student pulled him off, according to the report.
A security guard took him to the office until police arrived.
The incident was captured on the school-surveillance system, which will be available to prosecutors, according to police.
The student appeared in Juvenile Court Friday afternoon, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
The court found probable cause for misdemeanor assault and the judge released the juvenile on personal recognizance, Donohoe said. He is scheduled for a second court appearance on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, he has been expelled from Nathan Hale, according to Teresa Wippel, district spokeswoman.
He could return to school as early as next week, but the district hasn’t determined where yet. He could finish this semester at South Lake High School, a small alternative school in South Seattle, or at one of the district’s “Interagency Academy” schools, a network of small alternative-school programs.
After that, he would be able to enroll in a different high school, but couldn’t return to Nathan Hale.
Parents were notified through an automated phone call Thursday about the incident.
John Higgins: 206-464-3145 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter @jhigginsST