Brooklyn, New York – A fed up principal was charged with assaulting an unruly 7-year-old student in a heinous attack caught on video, authorities said Wednesday.
Machael Spencer-Edwards, 42, was walking the halls of Public School 202 in East New York when he spotted the boy running around the lunchroom in a banned hoodie and hitting staffers on March 13, sources said.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound principal dragged the child out of the cafeteria and forced him to the ground. With the boy cowering in front of him, Spencer-Edwards punched and kicked him, prosecutors said.
The second-grader, identified as Hasheem Welch, returned home that day with a swollen face and bruises on his stomach and back, his mother said.
“I feel like (Spencer-Edwards) needs to be put away,” the boy’s mother Shema McKenzie told the Daily News.
“I sent my son to school to learn. I didn’t send my son to get beat up by an adult, especially by the principal who’s supposed to be caring for these children.”
Hasheem, after leaving school, detailed the attack and claimed the principal bragged about beating up kids.
“He grabbed me and brought me to the staircase and kicked me. And then he smacked me,” said the boy.
“He told me that he knocked kids out.”
Cops arrested Spencer-Edwards on Tuesday following a month-long investigation.
He was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court on several charges, including misdemeanor assault and endangering the welfare of a child, authorities said.
A judge ordered Spencer-Edwards to be released without bail.
But Spencer-Edwards provided a statement to police denying that he assaulted Hasheem, law enforcement sources said.
The principal told cops he merely grabbed the boy by the arm after the student tried to kick him, sources added.
A video obtained by police told a different story, sources said.
The footage shows the principal dragging the child out of the lunchroom and into a stairwell where he kicks him with his left foot and strikes him in the head, sources said.
Education Department spokesman Michael Aciman said Spencer-Edwards has been removed from the school.
The principal has been reassigned to a rubber room but is still drawing his salary of $139,901.
“This alleged behavior is deeply disturbing, and has no place in our schools,” Aciman said.
Some parents said they already had concerns about Spencer-Edwards. “That principal has issues,” said Israel Cofield, 31, whose two sons attend P.S. 202.
“He puts his hands on kids, talks out of line. It’s not right.”
Other parents pinned blame on Hasheem. “Mr. Edwards has been amazing to us, so we’re really upset about this situation,” said Isha Holloman, 34.
“(Hasheem) just smacked my son today,” he added. “This is not the first time he’s hit my son.”
Hasheem has had behavioral issues in school and was diagnosed with ADHD three months ago.
But his mother said she initially didn’t believe him when he returned home that day last month complaining that he was attacked by the principal.
In the days following the encounter, Hasheem was hit with a two-week suspension after school staffers found a box cutter in his book bag, his mother said.
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