A Clark County School District truancy officer accused of child abuse and strangulation told police he had no choice but to grab the throat of a student who didn’t want to go to school, according to court documents.
The officer, Scott Weissinger, told school police he felt threatened by the 16-year-old student before grabbing his neck about 8:30 a.m. Oct. 18 outside the student’s residence, a police report said. Witness accounts in the arrest report estimate Weissinger held his throat for about five seconds.
“At the time it was the only choice I had,” he told police, according to the report.
He was arrested last week on counts of battery by strangulation, burglary and child abuse.
Interviews noted in the report indicate a truancy officer entered the student’s house without permission, called the student “a worthless piece of s***” and told him to get dressed to go to school.
The student said he didn’t want to go to school, but eventually walked downstairs and to the van outside. The report said he quickly opened the door and sat inside the van. This upset the officer, police wrote in the report, and he pulled the student out of the van and told the student to “do it the right way.”
Weissinger, 56, told police he felt threatened because the student was in his face. Weissinger said he then reached for the student’s throat, police wrote.
Neighbors told school officers they saw a truancy officer reach into a white Dodge Caravan with a school district logo and grab the student sitting inside by the neck. The report said a neighbor told police she heard the boy scream, “Why are you choking me? Get your hands off of me!” The neighbor said she never saw the student chasing the officer or holding a weapon.
The student said the officer told him to walk into the street and get hit by a car, to which the student replied he had been hit by a car before.
According to the student’s police account, the officer replied, “Walk in front of my car and I will make sure you don’t get up.” One of the neighbors reported hearing something similar.
The boy said he couldn’t breathe and he felt his body begin to numb during the neck grab, documents said. His sister added that his face turned red.
The report notes a family services specialist noticed the student had bruising on his neck two days after the incident.
Weissinger told police he acknowledged choking was a high level use of force, before adding he grabbed the side of the student’s neck rather than his throat, the report said.
Attendance officer policy bars officers from entering houses, regardless of consent, the arrest report said.