A California school security guard faces child abuse charges after attacking a student in a wheelchair, ABC affiliate KGO reported.
The station acquired video that reportedly shows Marchell Mitchell, 23, a security guard at Oakland High School, repeatedly slapping the student, Francisco Martinez, 17. Eventually, the guard shoves the student, who has cerebral palsy, out of his wheelchair and onto the floor.
“The fact that it happened to a student who has cerebral palsy only compounds the damage and how awful this incident is,” Oakland School District spokesperson Troy Flint told KGO.
Security officers were reportedly urging lingering students to get to class on May 19 when the scuffle broke out.
Mitchell was trying to wheel the student to class when the teen slapped his hands, according to KGO. The guard handcuffed the student, who then spat at him, officials said.
That prompted the security guard to attack the student and push him out of his wheelchair, the video shows.
“We acknowledge that there was a small physical exchange prior to the security officer essentially flipping out and attacking the student. But nothing that even remotely could have justified what occurred,” Flint said.
The student said he now has a scar under his chin.
School district officials said Mitchell, who was arrested and charged with felony child abuse, passed a background check. He was immediately fired.
The district added that it is reviewing policies about how security guards handle conflicts at schools.
Mitchell could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office said she did not know whether he had hired an attorney.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.