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Paraprofessional arrested at Fresh Meadows school after allegedly punching teenage girl with special needs: NYPD

Fresh Meadows paraprofessional punches special needs student
Photo via Getty Images

A paraprofessional working at a Fresh Meadows school was arrested Wednesday, July 13, for allegedly punching a teenage girl with special needs.

Police from the 109th Precinct responded to a 911 call at PS Q177 on 188th Street near 58th Avenue at around 1:30 p.m. and arrested 51-year-old Hector Hernandez, who is employed as a paraprofessional by the city’s Department of Education.

PS Q177, known as The Robin Sue Ward School, is a self-contained special education school that is part of District 75.

The 17-year-old female student with special needs was attempting to leave a classroom when Hernandez allegedly tried to stop her and said she “probably” scratched him in the face, police said. Hernandez responded by punching the girl in the face multiple times, according to an NYPD spokesman.

The student was treated at the scene for an eye injury and a swollen lip and Hernandez was taken into custody and charged with assault, harassment and endangering the welfare of an incompetent person, police said.

“The safety and wellbeing of our students remains our top priority. This alleged behavior is reprehensible and will not be tolerated,” Department of Education Spokeswoman Jenna Lyle said. “This employee was suspended and removed from the school and students pending the outcome of the arrest. We are providing supports to the school community following this incident.”

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