(NEW YORK) — Rodrigo Carpio is a 6-year-old second-grade student at a New York City elementary school who stands less than five feet tall.
John Webster, is a 27-year-old, 5-foot-10, 220-pound former college football player who claims that Carpio, his former student, caused him physical damage so severe that he has not been able to return to his teaching job at P.S. 330 in Queens. He’s now threatening to sue the city, Department of Education and possibly even the child’s family.
“This young boy was clearly a tiny terror,” Webster’s attorney, Andrew Siben, told ABC News. “He [Webster] was, in short, assaulted by a 40-pound first-grade student who has an extensive history of violent behavior at the public school he was attending.”
Webster, a physical education and health teacher, claims that Carpio had a history of violent behavior at school that went unregulated by administrators. He told the New York Post that, last April, when Carpio was a first-grade student, the boy acted out while walking to the cafeteria for lunch with his classmates.
When Webster, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday by ABC News, tried to discipline him by taking him to the principal’s office, Carpio allegedly kicked his teacher in the knee and ankle, causing serious damage, according to his lawyer.
“This young boy repeatedly attempted to hit Mr. Webster 20 times and landed two serious kicks, one to his right knee and one to his right ankle,” Siben said. “With the kick to the knee, he sustained a meniscus tear that required surgery and, with the kick to the ankle, an avulsion fracture which might also necessitate surgery.”
According to the Post, which first reported the story, an “occurrence report” filed by the school principal that same day, April 26, backs Webster’s account that Carpio “was physically aggressive” towards him, as well as the acting school principal and the school safety officer.
Carpio’s parents deny that their son is a “tiny terror” but acknowledge he is now taking medication to help him focus.
“To every mother, their child is an angel,” Josefa Marcia da Silva, 33, told the Post. “I know that he has problems, but he doesn’t deserve to be called such names….He is getting help, and he is much better now.”
Carpio is reportedly still at P.S. 330 as a second-grade student, but Webster has not returned to the school because of his injuries. Webster, according to his attorney, is undergoing physical therapy and has been advised by his doctors to not return to the school.
The school has requested that he be evaluated by a doctor of their choosing and return to work, Siben says. He and his client are investigating a lawsuit against the city and Department of Education for their alleged failure to prevent the incident from happening by ignoring earlier warning signs.
“What’s truly sad is that Mr. Webster and teachers within the school and the students were not afforded adequate security to prevent injury which ultimately happened to Mr. Webster,” Siben said. “Teachers and students proceed each day at their own peril when you have a student that badly misbehaves.”
“I think the school should have acted more aggressively and perhaps found a different school to place this young boy who was clearly presenting issues of oppositional defiance,” he said.
A message left for the school’s principal, Lashawnna Harris, was not returned. Attempts to contact Carpio’s family were not successful.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio