OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City police officer, who was assigned as a school resource officer in a local high school, is on administrative leave following an incident at the school.
MSgt. Thomas Jaha was serving as a school resource officer at U.S. Grant High School when he saw a 16-year-old student in the hallway without a pass.
According to the police report, after ignoring several requests to get to the gym, the officer said he approached the teen.
At that point, Jaha says the student took a fighting stance. Jaha admitted that he defended himself by hitting the student in the face.
After the student allegedly took a fighting stance once more, the officer said he hit the teen again in the face with his left fist.
“It’s my understanding that a parent did take the individual to a hospital,” said Mark Myers with Oklahoma City Public Schools.
School officials watched the altercation, which was caught on surveillance video, and notified police.
“If he believed that he was going to be hurt or he was going to be attacked, then obviously he has the right and the opportunity to defend himself,” said Capt. Paco Balderrama with the Oklahoma City Police Department. “At the same time, you know, we have to meet that appropriately.”
The incident was investigated by the Oklahoma City Police Department and was handed over to the district attorney.
On Wednesday, the district attorney filed one count of assault and battery against Jaha.
MSgt. Jaha, a 25-year veteran with the police department, has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
We did speak with the family late Wednesday evening they tell us a different story.
The 16-year-old’s grandfather says the student yelled for help before administration came to see what was happening.
The family has hired a lawyer.