No Felony Crime Occurred' During Crestline School Dragging

  • 8/14/2017 3:11:25 PM
  • Jay Jackman
  • Local News

CRESTLINE, OH - No felony crime occurred' during the Crestline Elementary School dragging incident according to Crawford County Prosecuting Attorney, Matthew Crall, Monday. 

"I was troubled by the video. I take the safety of all of our children very seriously. As a parent, I send my child to school every day assuming that he will return home safely. As a County Prosecutor, I applied the same decision making process applied to every criminal case considered.", stated Crall.

In the school's security footage, you can see two teachers bring 7-year-old Crestline Elementary student, Corbin, inside during recess after he was attempting to climb up the slide on the playground in May. 

You can see that Corbin does not want to walk in on his own, resulting in his teacher, Hannah Ruth, and her aide, Heather Gregory, physically forcing him forward as his knees drag on the ground.

Later on, the video shows the teacher pulling Corbin through the hallway by one leg, catching the eye of students and faculty.

"After reviewing all the information including the video footage and photographs of the teacher's injuries, it was clear that the grand jury did not have the number of votes necessary for an indictment to proceed. The issue of the child's autism was discussed and its role in the incident was discussed at length and the grand jury contained several different opinions on the issue. The case was pulled from the docket and the grand jury did not vote."

Crall continued, "As a prosecutor, I do not like to hide behind the secrecy of the Grand Jury when facing tough decisions. Legally, this charge did not meet the elements required for felony prosecution." 

"The felony code section raises several questions. As with most felony charges, the law requires serious physical harm or the likelihood of such harm occurring. In this situation, the injuries were minor scratches. Examples under the law of serious physical harm would be injuries that carry a risk of death, incapacity, or disfigurement. Another example would be causing severe and sustained pain. In this case, that legal definition is not met. It is also clear, under the law, that no serious harm was likely to occur. The type of cases where the likelihood of such harm occurring generally deal with someone firing a gun or attempting to harm with a weapon where the intent of the party can be clearly determined."

"The incident involving this seven year old is clearly upsetting and troubling. "I referred this matter to the State Board of Education who can make the determination on whether this conduct was appropriate given all the circumstances surrounding the event. Not every wrong is a crime. While I have determined, within my authority, that no felony crime occurred, I hope that the Crestline Board of Education and State Board of Education will conduct an appropriate investigation and render, after that investigation, a proper disciplinary action. This will ensure that the children of Crawford County receive the best education they can receive," concluded Prosecutor Crall." 

Less than a week has gone by, and the now viral Facebook video has been viewed over 168-thousand times. 

In the police report, Corbin's mother, Bonnie McKean, talks about how her son's doctor thinks he was in the middle of a growth spurt and needed to eat and sleep more. 

"The doctor wanted Corbin to have a snack every 1.5 to 2 hours and I explained that an afternoon snack was worked into his IEP and that I knew Wendy Schwall was letting him have his snack about 2:15 in her room and that sometimes Corbin refused to eat lunch and morning snack."

McKean's initial instructions were not taken seriously and Corbin's behavior became more and more aggressive, as he could not communicate his hunger or fatigue.

Noreen Mullens, Crestline's Superintendent, said she was notified of the incident by a faculty member the morning after it happened.

While both of the teachers involved have been removed from their positions and replaced for the upcoming school year, it is unclear at this time if they will also lose their licenses.  

McKean went on to say, "As parents, we are supposed to trust the school and its employees are doing their job and that our kids are being taken care of while they are there.  I may never trust that again.  No one can take back what has happened to Corbin, but as a community and for all children, it is our duty to make sure this doesn’t happen again."

WMFD was able to interview McKean in a private interview at her home Thursday afternoon, which has been given its own article here.

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