CHURCHILL (KDKA) — Police and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office are investigating claims by a 14-year-old boy that he was roughed up and his teeth knocked out by a resource officer at his school.
Civil rights attorney Todd Hollis walked into his conference room Wednesday, followed by his 14-year-old client and his family.
“Sadly, we are here for yet another incident involving abuse of a child at Woodland Hills High School,” Hollis said.
Hollis says his client, Queshawn Wade, who is a ninth grade student at Woodland Hills High School, was assaulted by the school resource officer, Steve Shaulis, who is also a Churchill police officer.
“This shows a picture of a child, 14-years-old, coming home with his teeth knocked out from the hands of the person that you entrusted,” Hollis said.
According to Hollis, the incident happened the afternoon of April 3 at the high school.
“My understanding is that there was a discussion by Officer Steve Shaulis, who is the school resource officer at Woodland Hills High School, over a missing cell phone,” Hollis said, “and that it was his belief that this young man [Wade] was responsible for that cell phone.”
Hollis said the officer told Wade the matter was going to court. Wade said okay, and Officer Shaulis allegedly called the boy a derogatory name and dragged him into his office.
“He said he was thrown against the wall, he landed on a chair, he was then punched in the back of his head,” Hollis said. “At some point, he was placed in a prone position on the ground; he was punched in the teeth, which is where his tooth fell out.”
Hollis contends “excessive force” was used and that the principal of the high school, Kevin Murray, watched as Wade was dragged into the police officer’s office.
Hollis says Wade is still a student in the Woodland Hills School District, but not presently in school. Hollis says he is recommending that the boy’s family not send him back to the high school.
Attorney Phil DiLuncente, who represents Principal Murray, says his client did not witness the incident and was not even aware of it until after it transpired.
Churchill Police say they have turned the investigation over to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office says they have received the initial report and will share that information with the FBI.
Meanwhile, the superintendent of the district tells KDKA that the district is also investigating the matter. He says he will release a statement on Thursday, but he doesn’t believe any of his people did anything wrong.