Cleveland ISD teacher off the job, accused of choking 5th grader

February 10, 2012 4:10:48 AM PST
A father is furious after hearing from his child that he was choked and hurt by a school teacher. That teacher has been removed from Eastside Elementary School in Cleveland and is facing charges.

Cleveland ISD has identified the man as Carlos Artieda, a fourth grade teacher at Eastside Elementary. Artieda told Eyewitness News he had no intentions of harming the boy.

"It was pretty scary," said fifth-grader Christopher Perdue.

He is still home from school nursing a sore neck. The boy says he was injured when Artieda choked him at Eastside Elementary on Tuesday morning.

"He just grabbed a hold of the collar of my shirt and he started stretching it out, and slammed me against the wall, and a piece of the metal door hit the back of my neck on the bone," Christopher said.

He and his dad say the choking happened as students were eating breakfast in the gym. The boy claims he was talking with his friends as Artieda approached him.

"He grabbed ahold of my throat, and he picked me up," said Christopher.

His dad says the impact left red marks and bruises covering his son's arms and neck.

"I found out that he was actually picked up off the floor and he was, you know, put in a headlock and stuff. And I was concerned, you know, that he could have fractured his neck or dislocated something and hurt him bad," said Christopher's dad, Chris Perdue.

We spoke with Artieda by phone Thursday a short time before Cleveland ISD police issued an arrest warrant against him.

"The child was being verbally disrespectful, and when I walked away he threatened me," Artieda told Eyewitness News. He added, "I walked back to him, grabbed the child and pulled his shirt; but I didn't choke the boy."

Now the fourth-grade teacher is facing charges of injury to a child.

"I would like to see him locked up and persecuted to the fullest. That way he don't hurt nobody else," said Perdue.

Artieda has worked in this district for nearly six years.

Cleveland ISD released a statement that reads in part, "Cleveland ISD does not tolerate this behavior from any employee and Mr. Artieda was placed on administrative leave the same day of the incident. Mr. Artieda began working for Cleveland ISD in August of 2006 and is on a term contract with the district. His future employment at the district will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees at the next regular Board of Trustees meeting where his contract will be proposed for non-renewal."

An ongoing investigation is being conducted by the campus administration with the assistance of the Cleveland ISD Police Department.