She drew blood when she slugged school cop, authorities say

Christine Jennifer Torres
Christine Jennifer Torres(Contributed)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 12:07 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 5:07 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re learning more about a woman accused of slugging a school security officer as a chaotic crowd of parents tried to get into Josey High School while it was under lockdown Tuesday.

As rumors of a threat at the school swirled on social media Tuesday, parents converged on Josey to pick up their kids.

MORE COVERAGE:

A Richmond County School System police report said officers found “a large group of disruptive parents” gathering in the front office and foyer area on Tuesday morning.

“We also observed several adults rushing into the building,” officers wrote in the report.

The principal was trying to calm the crowd, but officers wrote that the group was “too large for her to manage.”

“Due to the crowd failing to comply they were ordered out of the building,” officers wrote.

But Christine Jennifer Torres, 33, refused to exit, officers wrote.

“Torres became physically aggressive towards me (swinging her hands towards my face) in an attempt to hit me,” an officer wrote.

The officer said he administered a two- to three-second burst of pepper spray to her face.

Due to Torres being combative, “she was taken to the ground,” the officer wrote.

An arrest warrant states that she struck the officer “in the face, mouth, and head with her fist.” The officer suffered bleeding from his top and bottom, lip and his front tooth, according to the warrant.

She was arrested and booked into Richmond County jail on a charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer and bond set at $9,000, according to jail records. She’d been released by Thursday, according to records.

SEE PART OF THE CONFRONTATION:

The Richmond County School System on Tuesday issued a statement explaining that security measures during perceived threats can restrict access to schools.

“Our response to these incidents includes notifying our families of the potential threat and we may also designate an Emergency Alert level to monitor movement of students through a school or limit public access to a school facility,” the district said. “If access to a school facility is limited, it is to maintain order in the school and to respond to incidents using a safety-first approach.”

Perhaps in response to the confrontation involving Torres, the statement continues: “We ask that all family members or visitors to our school campuses support our school staff and School Safety and Security Officers by following their directions patiently as they work to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

Also affected by the rumors Tuesday were Murphey Middle School, Lucy C. Laney High School and Glenn Hills High School.

But Josey seemed to be at the center of the swift response by parents.

That may have been because the school was the site of a shooting on Saturday that injured two people at a tailgate party after the homecoming football game. And that shooting came only hours after another one outside a Laney High School game that injured no one.

Richmond County is one of the few school systems in the CSRA that have not enacted recent restrictions on patrons at football games. The restrictions range from requiring that personal belongings be carried in clear bags to mandating parental accompaniment of teenagers.

A statement from Richmond County schools on Monday said the district is seemed to place some of the responsibility in the lap of alumni groups.

The statement said the district is “reviewing safety plans for upcoming homecoming activities sponsored by booster clubs and alumni associations to ensure that school alumni and families reconnecting with high school friends during homecoming tailgating activities are gathering with adequate security to help keep them safe.”

There was a suggestion at Tuesday’s Richmond County Board of Education meeting that homecoming activities be suspended, but it wasn’t approved.

While the Josey incident involved a homecoming activity, the Laney shooting on Friday did not; Laney’s homecoming is this week.

Also not associated with homecoming was the discovery of a gun in possession of a spectator at the July 26 Laney-Hephzibah game.