gym teacher Steven Tozier has been charged with second-degree breach of peace and second-degree reckless endangerment after allegedly putting a 13-year-old male student in a headlock, according to a Rockville Superior Court affidavit.
In the affidavit, the student, described as "victim 1," said that Tozier grabbed him by the shirt as he was climbing the stairs to go to gym class on June 7.
The victim said, "Once we got to the top of the stairs, Mr. Tozier was directly behind me, and I was facing the wall with my left side. Mr. Tozier came up to me, put his right arm around my throat area and put me into a headlock. While doing so, my left side of my head above my ear struck the wall. Mr. Tozier had me in a headlock and I was trying to get out of it. Mr. Tozier did not squeeze while I was in the headlock, but it was tight enough to where I could feel the pressure on my neck."
A number of other students and another staff member were also on the stairs during the incident, according to the affidavit. Other students confirmed that Tozier grabbed the student and that the student's head made contact with the wall.
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Principal Walter Willett spoke to Tozier and a union representative about the incident, according to the affidavit. During that meeting, Tozier said that he did put his arm around the student's shoulder, but that it was in jest and that the students were "goosing" and "tapping" him on the arm while they were on the stairs, according to the affidavit.
Tozier added that he and the victim have exchanged high fives in the past, according to the affidavit.
Fellow teacher Hannah Thibodeau said that she saw Tozier "messing with a kid" and that she believed she saw the student laughing.
The incident was reported to school officials when the victim went to lunch and asked secretary Debbie Misiura what would happen to a staff member if he or she put a student in a headlock, the affidavit said. Misiura then brought the student to speak to Willett.
According to the nurse's report in the affidavit, there was no bruising or redness on the student, with the exception of a half-inch reddened mark on the right side of his neck, below his earlobe.
When asked if Tozier had been placed on administrative leave, Superintendent William Guzman had no comment.
Tozier was previously released from coaching duties in 2010 after parents alleged that .
Tozier is due in Rockville Superior Court for an arraignment on Aug. 8, according to the state judicial website.