ST. GEORGE — School safety agents threw a teenage high school student to the ground face-first as he suffered a panic attack, pinning his head to the floor with a knee and giving him a concussion, a lawsuit claims.
The 17-year-old student, who has a learning disability and an anxiety disorder, was placed under arrest at Curtis High School last year for being "disrespectful" to a teacher.
The lawsuit states that NYPD school safety agents wouldn't let him call his mother after the arrest or take his anxiety medication.
"He ended up in the hospital and was there for a while," said Kenneth McCallion, the lawyer for the student's mother who filed the suit in federal court for use of "excessive force" during the arrest. "He had a concussion and some injuries."
The agents later accused the student, whose name is being withheld by DNAinfo because he's a minor, of elbowing and striking them before they placed him in handcuffs, according to court documents.
The incident started when the boy tried to go into the school's auditorium for a music performance on Feb. 13, 2015, but was questioned by a teacher at the door, the suit says.
The teacher denied him entrance to the auditorium, even after another teacher said he was allowed in, and sent him to the principal's office for being "too disrespectful," the suit claims.
The principal eventually escorted him back to the auditorium and the boy told the teacher, "You see? We do belong here," according to the lawsuit.
The teacher and principal thought the comment was "disrespectful," so the principal told several school safety agents to take the boy to the dean's office.
When he got to the door of the office, "he became fearful and anxious over what appeared a clear over-response to anything that [he] had done and that something bad was going to happen to him if he went inside the Dean’s office, and he began suffering from an anxiety/panic attack," according to the lawsuit.
The boy told the agents about the attack and said that he needed to call his mother, and he was allowed to sit on stairs nearby while they talked to him.
But two other school safety agents grabbed him by the arm to take him to the office before pushing him to the ground in the doorway, causing him to land face-first and lose consciousness, the suit claims.
Despite his not resisting, the agents pinned his head and neck to the ground with their knees and restrained him while putting handcuffs on him, the suit says.
The student was held inside the office for nearly two hours, wasn't allowed to call his mother, was denied his anti-anxiety medication, and the agents refused to loosen the cuffs when he complained they were too tight, according to court documents.
Eventually, he was taken to the 120th Precinct and charged with refusing to comply with a lawful order after agents said he tried to push them and flailed his arms, according to the suit.
He later accepted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal at court.
"The case was adjudicated in Staten Island youth court and we have no further comment," a spokesman for the Staten Island District Attorney's office said.
After the incident, the student was suspended from the school, but it was eventually lifted in April 2015.
His mother first filed a complaint about the incident in August 2015 and hired lawyers who both filed new complaints in state and federal court in May, records show.
A judge dismissed her state case in favor of the federal civil-rights case handled by McCallion, who said it's still in the early stages.
"The complaint is well founded in fact and law we’ll just have to see how the case progress," he said.
The city's Law Department did not respond to requests for comment.