School safety officer and teacher slashed at Soundview Elementary School, Bronx

SOUNDVIEW, Bronx (WABC) — A school security guard and a teacher were injured when they responded to an attack at a Bronx elementary school on Thursday morning.

Authorities say a 36-year-old guidance counselor was entering PS 69 Journey Prep School when the suspect rushed behind her.

It’s inside the school on Thieriot Avenue in the Soundview section at 7:40 a.m., before the students arrive.

The man, apparently the guidance counselor’s ex-boyfriend, began to assault her.

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A vice principal and a former fifth-grade social studies teacher intervened and attempted to restrain the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Claudio Villar.

According to police, Villar pulled out a sharp object and cut the professor, Jaren Nash, in the arm. Hector Garcia, the 55-year-old school security guard, also intervened and was lacerated behind the ear.

“An intruder attempting to enter a school, according to preliminary information, attempted to assault a teacher,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “A heroic act by a school security officer prevented it from happening.”

The suspect fled, but Nash was able to give a detailed description of the suspect’s car. A responding officer spotted the vehicle and stopped Villar on the other side of the school.

The school safety officer and teacher were taken to Jacobi Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

“Violence has absolutely no place in our schools, and this senseless act against a vital member of our school community is unacceptable,” Schools Chancellor David Banks said. “Our incredible educators and school safety officers work every day to keep our children safe, and I am grateful for their unwavering dedication to our schools. We offer support to this school community.”

Villar was taken into custody.

“This recent incident shows why we need a full contingent of School Safety Officers,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew. “We have lost at least 2,000 security guards from where we should be. Today we are grateful to the PS 69 teacher and school security guard for stepping in to protect their colleague and grateful that no one was more seriously injured.”

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The NYC School Safety Coalition also released a statement on the cuts.

“There have been 41 assaults on school security officers this school year,” it read. “That’s a 30% increase from the previous school year. Last week, another school security officer was assaulted at PS 158 in Brooklyn. PS 69 and PS 168 have only one officer safety officers in the building due to severe staffing shortages caused by City Council budget cuts.Many New York City schools have only one school safety officer to protect an entire building from teachers, staff and hundreds of students. At our press conference on Monday, April 11, we called on Mayor Eric Adams to increase the number of school security officers inside our school buildings, as well as than to increase the number of Neighborhood Coordinating Officers and Youth Coordinating Officers outside of our schools. The shortage of school safety officers jeopardizes the safety of our children, teachers and all school staff We call Mayor Adam s to protect our children and hire more school safety officers.”

Villar is charged with assault, obstructing government administration and criminal possession of a weapon on school property.

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