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Valley News Dispatch

Highlands student, 18, to stand trial for allegedly punching the district's superintendent

Matthew Medsger
| Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, 9:24 p.m.
Johnathan M. McCormick
Allegheny County Jail
Johnathan M. McCormick

A student at the Highlands School District is headed to court on charges he assaulted the district's superintendent.

Johnathan M. McCormick, 18, of Harrison is charged with a felony count of aggravated assault after district police say that on Jan. 18 he attacked Superintendent Michael Bjalobok in a hallway at the high school.

Since he is 18, he is considered as an adult, and the case is being tried as such.

According to court documents, McCormick left a classroom without permission and became extremely agitated when a teacher told him to return to where he belonged.

McCormick allegedly responded with expletives that caught the attention of Bjalobok, who was in a nearby hallway.

When the superintendent attempted to intervene, McCormick again allegedly responded with expletives and, according to court documents, chest bumped Bjalobok and grabbed his shirt.

In the scuffle that ensued, McCormick allegedly punched the superintendent in the side of his head at least once.

A school custodian and a security officer restrained McCormick until in-school police Officer Richard Pritchard arrived to place him under arrest.

McCormick waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Carolyn Bengel on Tuesday. He is free on an unsecured $2,500 bond ahead of an as-yet unscheduled trial.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4675, or via Twitter @matthew_medsger.

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