NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The mother of a 7-year-old who was allegedly assaulted at his Harlem school is finally speaking out.
Police say her autistic son’s charter school principal hit him with a door months ago, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported Tuesday.
“He suffered. He’s getting the therapy and help he needs, but that doesn’t justify what Jason has done,” Patricia Laforey said.
Laforey was emotional as she recalled the incident that landed her son in the hospital.
“He has a concussion. He does get headaches. He can’t stare at anything for too long,” Laforey said. “They had to sedate him to stitch him and they had to do internal stitches and work their way out.”
Web Extra: Read the complaint (.pdf)
Police said Jason Epting, the principal at Harlem Hebrew Language Academy, hit her autistic son with a door in late January. She doesn’t know why.
The second grader was rushed to the hospital with a cut on his forehead and a concussion.
On Tuesday, Laforey and her son’s attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, met to address comments made by Epting’s lawyer, Martin Druyan, last week, that in part blamed the 7-year-old.
“There’s a good possibility the child contributed to this by running into the door,” Druyan said.
“To try to describe this as an accident caused by this young child is simply not the facts,” Rubenstein responded.
Epting was arrested after school officials found a video of the incident and turned it over to police. At this point, only investigators have seen that video.
“The school felt it was enough to turn the video in. The DA felt there was enough to make this arrest. I feel like justice needs to be served,” Laforey said.
Epting has been on administrative leave since the incident. Police charged him with felony assault. There was no official comment from the school. Laforey is calling for jail time.