Troup county parents allege student assaulted by substitute - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Troup county parents allege student assaulted by substitute teacher

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left to right: Justice Marable, Catherine Owensby left to right: Justice Marable, Catherine Owensby
LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) -

Trouble began Wednesday at a Troup County High School weight training class overseen by a substitute teacher.  A student and football player, Justice Marable, was in the class and both he and the teacher got into an argument. 

It ended with the teacher escorting Marable to a school administrator's office and that's when he alleges the assault took place.  According to a police incident report, Marable didn't like that the teacher was pressing his back as they walked down the hallway, so he told him several times to take his hands off of him.    

"He says, ‘well what are you going to do about it?  So I turned around and I told him the truth.  I said, ‘I'm going to hit you if you don't take your hands off of me.'  At about that time, he grabbed my arm and put his hand on my neck.  I spun around and pushed him off of me.  And I told him, ‘Don't touch me again,'" said Marable.

But it didn't end there.  After walking several more steps down the hallway, Marable alleges the teacher grabbed him by the back of the neck and pushed him into a wall.  When police were called by the school to investigate, Marable's mother says they told her he wasn't in any trouble and was being treated as the victim.

"I told him that, yes, I wanted charges pressed.  And he said, well you don't have to do anything, because we're doing that," said his mother, Catherine Owensby.

After reviewing evidence and questioning witnesses, police decided to drop the case, saying the incident did not rise to the level of a criminal act.  His parents were given an opportunity to review surveillance video captured inside the school, and they disagree.

"It went from this hand being on his arm and the back of his neck to . . . around his neck and I saw my son's arms go out and he caught himself from hitting the wall with his hands.  That's what was lost on me.  How can you not press charges on this man when he did that?" said his father, Kenneth Owensby.

"We decided, we weren't going to wait to press our own charges.  If the state wasn't going to handle it, we would let a judge decide if there is enough evidence for a warrant," said Catherine Owensby.

Marable's parents plan on meeting with a judge without police on Monday to ask that a charge of simple battery be issued against the teacher.  The school district has not commented on whether they are planning to take any action.

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