Attorneys for Muscogee Co. student with amputated leg still seek - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Attorneys for Muscogee Co. student with amputated leg still seek video of incident

(Source: Lawanda Thomas) (Source: Lawanda Thomas)
MUSCOGEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -

The attorneys for a Muscogee County student injured at school say they have now seen part of the video of the alleged assault, provided to an online news website.

It's been more than a month since they say a behavior specialist body-slammed the 13-year-old.

On Monday afternoon we spoke with the attorneys via Skype, who say they've made multiple requests to get the video of the incident for more than three weeks.

So far, they say they haven't received any reason as to why they can't get the footage.

The attorney for the Muscogee County school district, Gregory Ellington, denied open records request Monday for video of the Sept. 12 alleged assault between Montravious Thomas and behavioral specialist Bryant Mosley at the AIM alternative school on Forrest Road.

Thomas had his leg amputated on Oct. 18 in Atlanta. 

In an email statement, Ellington writes: "The videos requested are not subject to production under the Open Records Act." In his email to News Leader 9, Ellington cited their denial for our open records request under O.C.G.A. 50-18-72(a)(1),(2) and/or (37).

The citations include

  • (1) Specifically required by the federal government to be kept confidential;
  • (2) Medical or veterinary records and similar files, the disclosure of which would be an invasion of personal privacy;
  • (37) Any record that would not be subject to disclosure, or the disclosure of which would jeopardize the receipt of federal funds, under 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g or its implementing regulations;

The video which we do not have surfaced on a local online news website citing  "sources from the school system."

We have not been able to verify the authentication of the video, but attorneys for Thomas believes it proves their client was telling the truth about what happened, even though the video only shows the aftermath.

"The child was seriously injured, he had to be lifted up and taken to the bus," said Forrest B. Johnson, attorney of Montravious Thomas. "This is absolutely contrary to the statements put out by the Muscogee County School board where they say he was able to walk without pain and go about freely and without issues. The video contradicts that statement totally. It is apparent watching the video this child was injured and could not walk, move or do anything with the help of a teacher,"

Thomas is still in the hospital in Atlanta after his leg was amputated last week. His mother contacted Forrest B. Johnson and Associates, saying Mosley body slammed her son three times.
    
The school district says Mosley is not their employee but was providing behavioral services to students through a third party agency.

We reached out for a statement from Rob Poydasheff, the attorney of Bryant Mosley's employer. Poydasheff writes:

"We are still in the early stages of investigating the events which occurred and I have advised my client not to comment or speculate on the matter until we have completed our investigation.

At this point there is very little information to work from, even though it has been a while since the incident.

We are certainly very concerned for Montravious and our hearts go out to him. He and his family are in our thoughts as prayers."

Poydasheff also declined to confirm or deny if Mosley was still an employee at Mentoring and Behavioral Services.

"I'd rather not due to the sensitive nature of our investigation," Poydasheff said via email. 

Poydasheff also said that he has not had access to the video or any information regarding the incident when asked via email. 

Forrest B. Johnson and Associates plans to file a lawsuit in the next 10 days against the Muscogee County School District.
    
School officials say they're also investigating all the facts in this case. The released a second statement on Oct. 21, saying that: "Witnesses indicate that the child was up and walking and not in distress following the administered restraint."

"We will continue the thorough review of the incident to determine all of the facts and to make any necessary recommendations because the safety of all students and all employees is [a] priority," the statement said. 

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