NEW YORK (CNN) — A gym teacher in New York said his ankle was broken and knee injured in an attack.
The accused attacker: a 50-pound, first-grader.
At 5-foot-10, 220 pounds, you’d think John Webster could handle himself. But this former Division III college football player said he met his match in a pint-sized student who broke his ankle and injured his knee.
“It’s very humiliating and defaming,” Webster said. “But at the same time, it’s true.”
The 27-year-old gym teacher said it happened in April at P.S. 330 in Elmhurst, Queens, while he was escorting Rodrigo Carpio, then in the first grade, to the cafeteria.
“The student in question was jumping and spinning around the stairs,” Webster said.
Webster said he told the child to stop, and when he continued, Webster grabbed his arms.
“He was very, very strong,” Webster said of Carpio. “He was kicking me, using the heel of his feet to kick me in my legs. … He spun around and belted me right directly in the right knee. And I was trying to move back away but I was by the stairs and stuff so i heard a big pop to my knee.”
Webster said he suffered a broken ankle that and his right knee required surgery — injuries that have kept him out of work. At the child’s apartment home, the boy’s mother said her son denied it.
When a CNN reporter reached out to Carpio, the youngster appeared less sure about whether or not he committed the attack.
“I don’t know,” Carpio said. “I forgot.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said the office cannot comment on pending litigation. Webster’s attorney said the 6-year-old has a history of attacking students and another teacher, and the school was aware.
Webster said he’s hoping the department will reimburse him for his $10,000 worth of medical bills.