A Maywood high school music teacher who was filmed punching a student in his classroom was charged Friday with a misdemeanor, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Marston Riley, 64, was charged with one misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a child and faces a possible maximum sentence of one year in jail if convicted, prosecutors said.
On Nov. 2, Riley, a teacher at Maywood Academy High School, got into a confrontation with a 14-year-old boy that was recorded by other students with their cellphones. Videos of the fight went viral online. Students told KTLA that the confrontation began after Riley asked the boy to leave the classroom because he wasn’t wearing a proper uniform.
Video from the classroom shows the boy next to Riley, swearing at him and repeatedly using racial slurs.
“What’s up, bro?” the student says as he stands close and throws a basketball at Riley.
“Why you wisecracking, my …?” he asks.
Riley walks away as the student continues to insult him, then walks back to the front of the classroom where the student is standing. He calmly tells the student several times to leave, then suddenly starts punching.
The two trade punches as other students scramble around them, some shrieking. Riley hits the student numerous times, and a woman in a yellow safety vest tries to intervene.
The student was taken to a hospital where he was treated for moderate injuries and released, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
On social media, scores of people defended Riley, saying that he was pushed to the brink and that the student was out of line for using racial epithets.
A GoFundMe page for him had raised more than $187,000.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Riley is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 4 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to the district attorney’s office.