Brownsville Area teacher headed for court on assault charge
A teacher in the Brownsville Area School District was held for court Monday on charges of simple assault and harassment of a fifth-grade male student earlier this year.
Deanne Wienk, 52, of California, did not testify during the preliminary hearing before Redstone District Judge Mike Defino Jr., but the student did.
The boy said he was among a group of students lining up for lunch on May 9 in Cardale Elementary School.
“A lot of the kids weren't listening,” he said.
When one of his friends did not quiet down, the boy said he told him to get in line.
“That was when she (Wienk) proceeded to turn around, put her hands around my neck and throw me against the wall,” the boy said, pointing out Wienk in the courtroom.
“Were you able to breathe?” asked Anthony Iannamorelli Jr., Fayette County assistant district attorney.
“Barely,” the boy said.
He stated that he had a neck sprain and a cerebral concussion, and wore a neck brace for three weeks.
Defense attorney John W. Bitonti of Washington asked the boy if Wienk could have been “playing or joking around.”
“No, not at all,” the boy said.
He testified that two students grabbed Wienk by her shoulders and pulled her off him.
The boy said he returned to homeroom and told some other students, “That actually really hurt.”
A teacher overheard him and sent him to the principal's office to report the incident, the boy said.
During a later meeting with the school principal, the boy said he heard Wienk first deny she touched him, then claim she was joking.
“She said, ‘I won't go so far as saying I choked him, but I kind of did this,'” he said, raising his hands and making a shaking motion.
Wienk, who was assigned to the school by Intermediate Unit 1, also is the subject of a civil lawsuit filed in federal court on behalf of the boy's family.
The lawsuit filed Dec. 6 by Pittsburgh attorney Joel Sansone names Wienk, school Principal Frank Berdar, Superintendent Philip Savini Jr., the district and Intermediate Unit 1 as defendants.
District solicitor Jim Davis declined comment Monday.
The boy's parents are identified as Shawn H. and Christine C.
The suit states that a parent picking the boy up from school filed a complaint with Berdar.
As a result of the incident, the suit states, the boy “sustained physical, emotional and psychological injuries.”
“He continues to suffer from depression, anxiety and nightmares as a result of the incident and requires homeschooling,” the suit states.
It adds that school officials refused to agree to a “safety plan” allowing the boy to leave class and contact his parents if he felt anxious or threatened.
The suit demands a jury trial and seeks damages in excess of $75,000 on each of five counts.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lemont Furnace woman dropped crack cocaine at booking center, police say
- Man charged with impersonating doctor for free Nemacolin stay
- Washington Township daughter savors turkey farm tradition
- Poachers blamed for wounding bear that killed pets in Connellsville Twp.
- Saturday event to draw shoppers to small Fayette businesses
- Sharing the Harvest to help Connellsville programs for needy
- Dunbar flood victims thankful for help
- Forbes: Family is key for the holidays
- Christmas Cheer Club back to aid needy Mon Valley kids
- Canteen features Woodruff tribute
- Connellsville officers get bulletproof vests