NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A popular Brooklyn marching band director faces criminal charges after police say he assaulted a student with duct tape.
As CBS2’s Diane Macedo reported, Kenyatte Hughes was tight-lipped as he left Brooklyn criminal court on Wednesday, accused of duct taping a 9-year-old student’s mouth shut on Tuesday, at an East New York school on Vermont Street and Pitkin Ave.
Prosecutors said the student was speaking with a group of friends during an after school program at I.S.-292 when Hughes put a piece of duct tape over the student’s mouth, then removed it before the student left.
The student’s mother then complained to police who arrested Hughes the same day, saying he told them he taped the student’s mouth as part of a lesson on slavery, and had planned to tape his own mouth too, but then didn’t.
“I don’t know why he treated that kid like that. That could be anybody’s child,” 7th grade mother Otilia Espana said.
Espana and other parents were surprised to hear about the accusations, especially considering the popularity of the marching band program that Hughes directed.
“They practice every day, and they go different places, and like I said before I never hear no problems for the school,” Patricia Bowers said, “I had no problem with none of my kids in none of those schools, so this is the first time of ever hearing about this and I’m surprised, very surprised.”
The Department of Education released a statement addressing the incident.
“This is not a DOE employee. Mr. Hughes has been a volunteer at an after school program at I.S.-292. These charges are deeply troubling, and Mr. Hughes will no longer be allowed in I.S.-292 or any of our schools.”
Hughes was released without bail on Wednesday. He’s due back in court on November 16 to face charges of second and third degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Sources said Hughes was also employed as a lunch helper at the school from 2004 to 2008.
CBS2 reached out to the victim’s mother, but she declined to comment.