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Chief: No charges in case of Antioch teacher grabbing student

Updated: January 1, 2013 6:27AM

ANTIOCH — An Antioch elementary school teacher has been cleared of any criminal intent, but remains on paid leave after an investigation into whether she bruised a student’s arm when she allegedly grabbed her during recess.

Antioch Police Chief Craig Somerville said Thursday authorities have completed an extensive investigation into the incident involving the student and teacher from the Antioch Lower Grade School.

“Police have determined no evidence of criminal intent exists and therefore no charges are being filed. Antioch School District 34 officials are concluding an administrative investigation into this matter,” he said.

Vincent Bennett of Antioch said his daughter, Zsanette, 10, came home Nov. 14 and told him that a teacher had grabbed her arm while in line after recess and showed him two bruise marks and a scratch. In her police report, the youngster said she was talking to a friend when teacher Jane Lindquist thought she was taking too long, grabbed her and allegedly pulled her “so hard she almost made me cry,” according to Bennett.

Bennett had pictures that showed bruises on the child’s arm. The child was switched to another school and Lindquist was placed on paid administrative leave. The child does have a genetic condition that can make her susceptible to bruising.

“I don’t think the outcome was exactly what I expected,” said Bennett, but he said Thursday he appreciated the Antioch Police Department and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office looking into the allegations.

“While there was no criminal intent, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I’d like to see what the school is going to do,” he said.

“I appreciate (investigators) looking into it, I just have to agree with their decision. But people at least may take a child’s complaints more seriously about a teacher’s actions in the classroom that don’t seem professional,” he said.

The school could still take some sort of disciplinary action like a letter of reprimand, but school officials did not return a call about when their investigations may conclude.

Ari Fisz, chief of felony review for the State’s Attorney’s Office, said that “after reviewing the evidence in the case the student’s allegations seemed credible, however it did not appear the teacher was intending to harm the child.”

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