A community college teacher and former city council member in Fresno, California faces misdemeanor battery charges for allegedly attacking and body slamming a 19-year-old woman to the ground.
The Fresno Bee reported on Monday that 69-year-old Brian Calhoun is accused of accosting journalism student Kevynn Gomez in a confrontation that allegedly began when Calhoun walked into Gomez’s class and demanded they clear the room so that he could begin his Survey of American Education class.
At the time, Gomez was taking an exam in her Chicano-Latino Studies course under the supervision of a substitute teacher, Michael Medrano. Medrano told authorities that after telling Calhoun the students needed some more time to complete their exams, Calhoun said he “wanted the classroom.”
Gomez then allegedly turned in her exam and told Calhoun, “piss off, asshole” on her way out, prompting Calhoun to follow her into the hallway saying, “You can’t talk to me like that” and asking for her name.
According to a campus police report, Calhoun allegedly grabbed the student’s arm and pinned her neck against a wall. Fearing for her safety, Gomez allegedly punched him in the face, which led to Calhoun allegedly slamming her down in response.
The Associated Press confirmed on Tuesday that Calhoun has been placed on paid administrative leave. His attorney, Roger Nuttall, blamed Gomez for starting the fight.
“This wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t lashed out,” Nuttall said.
“[Calhoun’s] attack was flagrant and violent,” said Gomez’s attorney, Catherine Campbell, in response to Nuttall’s allegation. “He was out of control.”
Calhoun is due in Fresno County Superior Court on June 19.
[“An angry mature teacher holding a wand and gesturing” via Shutterstock]