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Parent claims her daughter was injured by Watertown resource officer

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A parent of a Case Middle School student wants the Watertown City School District’s resource police officer replaced, alleging he unnecessarily injured her daughter while trying to restrain her during a confrontation in October.

Tanisha S. Carr said her 13-year-old daughter was “manhandled” by city police Officer Scott M. McIntyre and needed medical attention for facial injuries.

“He slammed her face into the locker,” Ms. Carr said. “Her face, they thought it was fractured at first.”

The resource officer also allegedly handcuffed Ms. Carr’s daughter and dragged her to the school office, which left her wrists bleeding.

Ms. Carr said her daughter suffers from clinical depression and attention deficit disorder, which leads to occasional bad behavior at school. She said she wants Mr. McIntyre replaced because she believes he does not know how to handle children on medication.

Following the incident, Superintendent Terry N. Fralick told the Police Department he wanted Mr. McIntyre off the campus for two weeks, but Ms. Carr alleged “He was not supposed to return to the school at all.” She said he “treated my 13-year-old girl, who is 105 pounds, like she was a grown woman. There is no reason for this.”

Because the school district has video cameras in some of its hallways, Ms. Carr asked to see a surveillance tape of the incident, but Mr. Fralick said the footage had been reviewed and officials found no evidence the officer had acted inappropriately. The tape was then reused and the incident was taped over.

Additionally, she said, the Police Department reassigned the officer only after Sheldon B. Dukes Sr., the student’s father, and Richelle M. David, Northern Regional Center for Independent Living parent-training coordinator, called City Manager Sharon A. Addison to complain.

Ms. Addison “called me back and assured me the situation was taken care of and the officer would never be allowed back,” Mr. Dukes said.

Ms. Addison said she told Mr. Dukes she would look into the matter. She said she did not tell the father the police officer would not be allowed to return as a resource officer.

“Our internal investigation showed that the resource officer did not act inappropriately,” she said.

Mr. McIntyre was reassigned to road patrol until Nov. 13. Ms. Addison said no other officer was assigned to the school district during that time. She said Mr. Fralick would have to say why he wanted the officer off the campus for two weeks.

Mr. Fralick said the school district’s attorney advised him not to comment about the incident.

Board of Education President Michael R. Flick deferred all questions to Mr. Fralick.

According to police Capt. Cheryl A. Clark, there was “no documentation” of the student’s injuries.

Ms. Carr said the incident started after her daughter hit a male student during a seventh-grade English class and was asked by a substitute teacher to leave the classroom. After leaving, the girl re-entered the room after realizing she had left behind her writing implements, Ms. Carr said.

At that point, Ms. Carr claims, the substitute teacher told the class she was being attacked by the student.

“Seven people jumped on my daughter while she called the resource officer,” she said. “The class saw the whole thing happen.”

She said some of the people who held her daughter included several teachers, Principal Terry L. Gonseth and Assistant Principal Mark Bennett.

The teachers and administrators, Ms. Carr said, were supposed to put her daughter in a therapeutic hold to restrain her but did not hold her properly.

“My daughter was at the point where she peed on herself from being held down,” she said.

Her daughter was suspended for a week following the incident.

Times Managing Editor Bob Gorman and staff writer Craig Fox contributed to this report.

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