John Muir teacher attacked after trying to stop attempted kidnapping

A teacher was assaulted on campus Thursday evening at John Muir Elementary School after trying to stop a man from taking an 8-year-old student from the campus, Fresno police reported.

The attempted abduction took place around 5 p.m. when officers responded to the school regarding a disturbance with a homeless male trying to take one of the students.

When a teacher saw the suspect outside the fence speaking to the student, she instructed the other children to go inside their classroom and alerted the principal. As the suspect, described as a Hispanic male adult in his 20s, moved closer to the students’ door, he told the principal he was taking the child and that they were leaving, police reported.

When the teacher attempted to intervene, the suspect struck her on the head and shoulder with a piece of rebar, police said, and continued walking to the school’s exit gate.

The principal and other employees attempted to intervene and were able to distract the suspect, allowing the child to be removed safely. The suspect then continued to walk away from the school, where he was then detained by officers.

The suspect was later determined to be the child’s uncle, but did not have permission to remove the child from school grounds, police reported. According to family members, he may suffer from mental illness, police said.

The suspect is currently being interviewed and has not been booked, but will be facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, child endangerment, brandishing of a weapon and possibly kidnapping, police said.

Megan Ginise: 559-441-6614