NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A youth band director is facing a number of charges after allegedly duct-taping the mouth of a 9-year-old boy at a New York City school, police said.
Kenyatte Hughes, 39, was arrested Tuesday morning in Brooklyn.
Police said they were contacted by the parents of the boy after he came home with a laceration on his lip and swelling on his face, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
The boy said Hughes duct-taped his mouth shut because the child was talking while Hughes was talking, Rivera reported.
Hughes is the longtime director of the popular Soul Tigers Marching Band — a nonprofit music education program for disadvantaged youth that is run out of Intermediate School 292 in East New York. Last winter, Hughes held a rally outside the school, telling WCBS 880 that the new principal was locking his marching band out of their practice room.
Parents in the neighborhood are stunned by the allegations against Hughes.
Victoria, the mother of an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old, is worried other children may have been abused.
“For him to have done that, or maybe he has done something similar to that,” she said.
“You don’t put your hands on somebody else’s child,” a woman from the community said.
Gail Simms, who lives in the neighborhood, said Hughes “should have know better,” but added “I feel for the teacher, kids are out of control.”
Eileen Peters, a retired New York City school aide, said if the charges are true, Hughes probably lost it.
“I know, I worked with kids, and I know them, they could send you through the wall,” Peters said. “So you have to know how to deal with them.”
Hughes is charged with assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon.
A Department of Education spokesperson called the charges “deeply troubling” and said, “Hughes will no longer be allowed in IS 292 or any of our schools.”
The spokesperson said Hughes is a volunteer, not a DOE employee.