OKC Police School Resource Officer Charged With Assault


Wednesday, October 28th 2015, 9:35 pm
By: News 9


Surveillance video leads to a misdemeanor assault charge against an Oklahoma City school resource officer.

He's accused of hitting a 16-year-old student.

Police say MSgt. Thomas Jaha confronted the student earlier this month because he was in the hallway without a pass.

At some point during that encounter, the student allegedly took an aggressive stance. What happened after that was caught on school surveillance cameras.

In the hallway surveillance video, you can see the U.S. Grant High School resource officer escort the teenager out of the men's restroom.

That student was supposed to be in an assembly with his classmates, according to police.

OCPD: Officer Faces Assault And Battery Charge After Striking Student

“He questioned him, he asked him what he was doing,” said Capt. Paco Balderrama, OCPD.

But even after the student was asked by Jaha to head to the assembly, the student proceeds to get a drink of water.

That's when he is allegedly hit him in the face, twice.

“He struck a student twice in the head after this student got in an aggressive stance and faced the master sergeant,” said Balderrama.

Jaha claims the student faced him with a clenched fist, so he hit the teenager in self-defense.

But because of the way the video was recorded you don't see the actual hit to the face, although police say it's clear.

“They have the right to defend themselves. They have the right to use physical force to protect themselves, protect the public,” said Balderrama. “And in this particular case, the force was not appropriate to the incident.”

The student was arrested for disorderly conduct shortly after the incident.

But now, Jaha is charged with one count of assault and battery after the surveillance video launched a criminal investigation.

“We presented the case to the district attorney’s office,” said Balderrama.

Jaha was already on restricted duty after OCPD learned about the assault allegation October 9. 

Now that a charge has been filed, he is on administrative leave with pay.