14-year-old boy choked and body slammed by police for stealing chocolate from school vending machine: 'I was scared for my life'
A 14-year-old student who was body slammed by the police for stealing chocolate from his high school vending machine says, “I was scared for my life.”
A witness filmed the conflict between deputies of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and Alcovy High School students who opened a vending machine Thursday and raided its candy. According to the account given by 14-year-old Asah Glenn, after he ran to the machine, two police officers and a coach grabbed Glenn, one officer holding the boy in a chokehold, before another threw him to the ground.
“It was a blur. I was scared for my life and I didn’t know what was going on,” Asah told CBS46, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta. “I ran over there grabbed a Snickers, turned around coach grabbed me and it went from there.”
Police were reportedly called when teachers couldn’t stop the children. According to an incident report sent to Yahoo Lifestyle by the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, officers “responded to what first appeared to be a fight” after overhearing a “loud crowd gathering.”
The sheriff’s office spokesperson also sent a press release to Yahoo Lifestyle: “Initially, [deputies] thought it was a fight but quickly determined it was theft of snacks from the vending machine. Three juvenile students were charged as a result.”
Those charged are a 14-year-old student (theft by taking and disorderly conduct), another 14-year-old (theft by taking), and a 15-year-old (disruption of a public school, obstruction, theft by taking, and disorderly conduct).
“I’m very concerned for his future,” Asah’s mother, LaToya Glenn, told CBS46. “I knew instantly this is just wrong.” Her son has a rib injury, scraped his knees, and received a three-day suspension. She tells the news station that Asah was charged with theft and disorderly conduct.
Attorney Mawuli Davis, who did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, told CBS46, “They’re choking him and they run him into the wall, lift him up and you can see them try to body slam him to the ground. His hands are up the whole time. He’s 125, 130 pounds max and these are grown men. It was traumatizing for him.”
Newton County Schools told Yahoo Lifestyle in a statement: “On Thursday, December 13, school resource officers apprehended students involved in a vending machine theft. In addition to possible legal charges, students involved in the theft will be disciplined for violating the student code of conduct. We are aware of the student’s allegation and have forwarded the information to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office for review.”
Sophia Wallace, a parent of another child involved, told Fox 5 Atlanta, “I want justice, that was uncalled for. There was no fight, there was no gun, we are talking candy here.” She reportedly hired a lawyer and will withdraw her children from the school.
According to Wallace, her 15-year-old son, Keyerrius Reed, was holding an old Skittles wrapper at the scene, which was unrelated to the theft. “He choked me, then he let me go and choked me again. Next thing I knew he sprayed mace in both of my eyes,” Reed told Fox 5 Atlanta, saying that his “whole face was on fire.” Reed was suspended for 10 days and faces three charges.
Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach LaToya Glenn or Sophia Wallace for comment. According to the press release, one deputy involved has been reassigned during an investigation for excessive force.
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