A principal at a lower Manhattan high school was allegedly brutally beaten by a student on Monday when he told the teenager to remove his headphones, according to multiple reports.
Principal Matthew Tossman of the Manhattan Early College School for Advertising, which resides inside Murry Bergtraum High School, told 18-year-old student Luis Penzo to remove his headphones while he was in the hallway around noon, the New York Post and New York Daily News report.
According to these reports, Tossman asked Penzo to turn down the music, and Penzo put his headphones on the floor. As Tossman went to retrieve them, he was allegedly punched by Penzo in the head.
He allegedly continued by punching Tossman in the face several times, causing swelling and lacerations around both of the principal’s eyes, according to the Post.
Tossman was taken to Lower Manhattan Hospital for treatment and released hours later. Penzo was arrested at about 1 p.m. Monday and charged with second-degree assault.
He was awaiting arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday night. It was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.
Tossman’s family will not comment at this time.
Carmen Fariña, the chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, addressed the incident in a news conference on Tuesday.
“The student was arrested and that is a message in and of itself,” she said. “Of course I’m upset. Anytime anyone is hurt in any of our schools, be it a child or adult, it’s cause for concern, so going back and reviewing what happened is important. The consequences were if you do something wrong, you’re going to be arrested.”