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Oakland High School Security Guard Charged with Child Abuse on Disabled Student (CA Penal Code 273(d))

23-year-old man (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) has been arrested on charges of child abuse for the way he handled an altercation with an Oakland High student, 9th grader, who is confined to a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy.  It seems that, during the normal morning rush, it is part of his job to get students to their appropriate classes.  On the morning in question, however, the security guard contends the student was being difficult, moving too slowly or not responding to his request.  That’s when he allegedly took hold of the student’s wheelchair and began pushing it down the hall.  Clearly, the student was not appreciative of being hauled down the hallway in this manner, so sources say he began to try to get the security guard to let go by slapping at the security guard’s hands.  This caused a row; the security guard allegedly then cuffed the student, then hit him several times and threw him out of his wheelchair.  Besides the child abuse charge, Mitchell has also been accused of inflicting corporal injury to a child, which is a felony in the state of California.

California Penal Code 273(d) addresses what are collectively known as ‘child abuse laws.’  What Mitchell allegedly took part in was physically abusing a minor and physically injuring him.  This crime is a ‘wobbler, ‘ meaning that it is at the discretion of prosecutors as to whether to treat it as a felony or a misdemeanor.  In Mitchell’s case, a felony child abuse conviction could lead to up to 6 years in state prison.


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