LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles elementary school teacher who’s accused of placing a plastic bag over a student’s head in class pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of child abuse.
Thelmo Garcia, 37, was arrested Wednesday after being removed from the Rosewood Elementary campus, located at 503 N. Croft Avenue, earlier last month, Los Angeles Unified School District officials said.READ MORE: Kempe's Two Goals Help Put Kings Over Oilers, 5-1
The fourth grade teacher allegedly placed a plastic bag over a 10-year-old girl’s head for “several seconds” during class on Feb. 5, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Jane Robison.
He remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to six years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.READ MORE: Woman Found Shot To Death In South LA, Shooting Suspect Still At-Large
“He does joke around. He laughs with the kids. But again, me personally, I cannot even imagine him doing something like this,” Ty Jackson, a parent, said.
Garcia has taught the fourth grade at Rosewood since 2010 but has been with the LAUSD since 1999.
Nescanio Pineda, another parent, said: “He’s a good teacher and everybody talked to me and say, ‘I can’t believe it. He no do that thing.’ ”MORE NEWS: Man Found Dead In Dumpster In South Los Angeles
Garcia has been suspended with pay by the school district.