Exclusive: Upper West Side teacher's aide charged with assaulting student

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A teacher's aide at New York City elementary school is under arrest after being accused of assaulting a child during his lunch period.

Alphonso Lewis, an aide at PS 165 on the Upper West Side is facing assault and child endangerment charges for allegedly using excessive physical force against the third grader.

The 8-year-old had been standing in line at the end of recess when according to the arrest complaint, Lewis "grabbed (the boy) by the arm" with such force that it left three large bruises.

Eyewitness News reporter Jim Hoffer: "So you discovered these bruises when your son got home?"
Mom Jennifer Batista: "Yes."
Hoffer: "When you saw them, what did you say?"

Batista: "I immediately got upset because I knew something was wrong."

Batista's son was talking when the Lewis pulled him out of the line, and she says he was too frightened at first to tell his mother.

"He said everybody, you know, goes through that," she said. "'He does it to all of us, and it's OK.' I'm like, 'No it's not OK. Nobody's supposed to hurt you like that. That's an assault.'"

And it is apparently not the first time. Another mother who didn't want to be identified said Lewis used the same force on her son, causing similar bruising. She said she went directly to the principal.

Hoffer: "What year did you make this complaint, did you come into the school?"
Mother: "2013. 2013."
Hoffer: "Three years ago?"
Mother: "Yes."
Hoffer: "And did they do anything about it?"
Mother: "No, he is there."

But not anymore, after police from the 24th Precinct arrested Lewis Wednesday afternoon. Still, Batista said, the school should have removed him a long time ago.

"He should be arrested and charged," she said. "And he should never work in another school again."
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