After release of surveillance camera footage, a former teacher is defending his actions after the tape showed him grabbing a child by his throat and dragging him down a cafeteria table.
Tim Garner, 61, was charged with first degree child cruelty and simple battery after allegedly attacking a student at Lumpkin County Alternative School.
Over a year-and-a-half after the altercation, the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office finally released video of the incident on Friday.
Garner told WSB-TV that his actions against the student were in self-defense and that he did not regret he decisions.
"I was in fear of a head-butt or something like that or carrying something," Garner claimed.
“I don’t know if you have children yourself, but when you look at that video, do you justify your actions?” reporter Michael Seiden asked.
“Absolutely,” Garner replied.
The former teacher also said the victim was a troubled teen with a violent past.
Zack Tumlin, the victim's attorney, took offense at that claim.
“Coach Garner’s assertions that my client is a troubled and violent youth is absurd, as is the assertion that my client initiated any contact with him," he argued.
"The truth of the matter, as the video clearly shows, is that Coach Garner decided to subdue and choke a child for almost 50 seconds as a method of exercising discretionary discipline for a minor infraction in the lunchroom," Tumlin continued.
"We expect Coach Garner to be held accountable and take responsibility for his lapse in judgment, and for the School District to do the right thing in settling the civil claims that will follow the criminal prosecution," he added.