Glenn Mills, Pa. (WTXF/AP) - Authorities say two former counselors at a Glenn Mills reform school have been charged with assaulting a 17-year-old student.
As a counselor at the Glen Mills School 31-year-old Christopher Medina was not supposed to use his 6‘4“, 320 pound frame to manhandle students, but the Delaware county prosecutor says that’s exactly what Medina and a coworker did.
“We entrusted the care of a juvenile to these two defendants and rather than caring for him—as witnessed by about 30 people and recorded by several cameras—they literally beat the breath out of him," Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland said.
Eyewitnesses— backed by security camera footage—say it happened the afternoon of July 19 during a session in which students at the reform school air grievances with one another.
State police say when Medina got into a beef with a 17-year-old male student from Philadelphia and he slapped the boy in the head and more.
“....lifting the victim up from his seat and throwing him to the ground. And punching the victim in the chest, causing him to have difficulty breathing," Pa. State Police Lt. James Hennigan said.
In court documents, the victim says Medina, “pushed his head into the ground and placed the whole weight of his body on his right arm.”
State police say another counselor 34-year-old Patrick Raquet continued the beating.
“Additional footage shows Raquet grabbing the victim by the face and punching him several times while the victim was seated on a couch in a different room after being separated from the group," Lt. Hennigan said.
Both are out on bail. The Glen Mills School fired both counselors after learning of the incident and State police say the school has cooperated with their investigation.
The 17-year-old student no longer attends Glen Mills.
Philadelphia has stopped sending children who've committed crimes to Glen Mills since the assault accusations emerged last month.
Glen Mills is the oldest reform school in the country and houses 383 boys ordered there by courts.