Principal Cleared in Water Bottle Battery

This is a fairly weird case. A principal was playing “child-like games” in the cafeteria, when he lost control of a water bottle and struck a cafeteria worker. The water bottle allegedly caused “permanent disfigurement” according to the criminal charges filed against the principal. At first, it appeared that no criminal charges would be filed, but the principal alleges that a conspiracy between the cafeteria worker and a lead detective investigating the case resulted in him being way overcharged with two counts of aggravated battery resulting in permanent disfigurement. It is unclear how the cafeteria worker was disfigured by the water bottle or how a water bottle could disfigure someone unless it was thrown by Nolan Ryan. Other attempts to characterize the bottle called it “a hard water canteen.” The defendant allegedly suffered a concussion and an eye abrasion that required stitches. 

The principal is now suing the school district, the cafeteria worker, and the detective who pursued charges against him. Below, we will take a look at why he might have a case.

Understanding Battery Charges

You can never accidentally batter someone. If you cause serious injury to someone accidentally, that is known as culpable negligence under the law, and it is prosecuted differently with different standards. If the woman was seriously injured, she could file a lawsuit against the principal, the school district, and related entities to recover damages related to her injuries. Nonetheless, water bottle-throwing incidents in which someone is struck accidentally do not qualify as battery. It is unclear what the prosecutors argued before the court. They must have alleged that this principal intended to harm the woman. Nonetheless, most will scratch their heads when they try to imagine a way that a water bottle can result in permanent disfigurement. 

Now, why did the prosecutors go so hard on this particular principal? Well, he had a history of unprofessional conduct that included racism, intimidation, and throwing things around. On the day that incident occurred, the victim was in the cafeteria working when the defendant addressed her. The victim informed him that she was not playing around, that she had work to do, and the defendant began throwing random items from the discarded items bin. He threw a girl’s shoe that missed her, and then a water bottle (or a hard water canteen) depending on whom you believe. Ultimately, the woman said she suffered a concussion and required stitches for the wound, which is how you end up with permanent disfigurement. 

In this case, culpable negligence causing bodily injury would have been a better charge with a surer conviction. A security guard working the cafeteria during the incident said that he heard the victim tell the principal she was not playing around. Moments later, she was screaming in pain. She was taken for treatment and diagnosed with a concussion.

While the principal has since lost his job, he is also filing suit claiming that his rights were violated. In this case, it is simply good that he is gone from that environment. His lawsuit will likely be dismissed. You are allowed to terminate an employee who causes injury to other employees when there is enough evidence to pursue charges.

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing serious charges in Chicago, call the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your defense immediately. 

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