AUSTIN (KXAN) — A former assistant principal of a Round Rock middle school is accused of choking a 10-year-old boy at an Austin skating rink.
Chad Warren Sanders, 40, was arrested on Monday — his birthday — and has been charged with causing injury to a child, a third-degree felony.
On May 12, the 10-year-old was skating at Playland Skate Center at 8822 McCann Dr. in north Austin when the incident happened. The boy told officers he saw a birthday party table being cleaned up and asked if he could have some of the leftovers. A skate center employee cleaning the table said he could, but Sanders, who the victim did not know, then told the boy he could not take anything from the table and told him to put the items down, according to a police affidavit.
The victim then skated off but saw Sanders looking for him. The boy says he hid by the video gaming area, where Sanders found him and grabbed him by the neck using both hands, the affidavit continued. The victim told police he couldn’t breathe for a few seconds.
Police say Sanders then asked the boy for his wallet. When the boy said he didn’t have a wallet, Sanders allegedly took his eyeglasses and threw them in the trash.
Officers took photos of the victim’s injuries to his neck, which they say are consistent with what you’d see from someone who had been grabbed around the neck.
Surveillance video is said to show Sanders bending over the boy and stomping his right leg. The video, which has not been released, then shows Sanders picking up the victim by the neck, stand him up and force him into a corner, before walking away.
A witness told police she originally thought the incident was a father disciplining his child. She could hear Sanders demanding something from the boy, but couldn’t tell exactly what, as she began to feel that something was wrong and walked over. At this point, the boy was crying and the witness was trying to find his father.
A detective went to Sanders’ house, tracking him down through the name on the birthday table reservation, and asked if he saw a “disturbance” at the skating rink. Sanders told the officers that he saw a disagreement between 7-year-old children, but didn’t know why the detective was at his house.
When the detective told Sanders he needed to take down his information for his report, the detective says that Sanders appeared on the verge of tears and his voice was cracking. As the detective, was leaving, Sanders asked what was going to happen. The detective replied he was going to continue his investigation.
On May 15, the detective learned that the boy’s father was taking him to the hospital because his son was still feeling pain on his neck and throat.
Sanders is out of jail after posting a $7,500 bond.
According to Round Rock ISD, the alleged choking is not related to anything that happened at the school district. Sanders began working as an administrator for the district in November 2015 and joined Cedar Valley Middle School at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
He was placed on administrative leave on March 6 following the investigation of an unspecified incident involving coworkers and resigned on April 11. Round Rock ISD says there is no record of him harming a student during his employment with them.
Anyone who knows about inappropriate behavior or possible wrongdoing in Round Rock ISD can call a campus administrator, use the RRISD Anonymous alerts program or contact law enforcement.