UPDATE: St. Landry Parish District Attorney Earl Taylor has dropped all charges against Anthony K. James and Lorenso T. Williams.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office has concluded an investigation that has resulted in the arrest of Beau Chene High School Principal Anthony K. James, and Coach Lorenso T. Williams.
According to Lt. Clay Higgins, probable cause existed for the arrest, which involved a juvenile who was interviewed at the sheriff’s office headquarters, accompanied by his mother.
According to a warrant obtained through the St. Landry Parish clerk of court office, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office received a complaint Sept. 30, regarding a battery committed upon a juvenile by his principal.
According to a report filed by SLPSO Det. Amelia Bourque, the child stated Williams, 29, brought him into the locker room at school and hollered at him for not tucking in his shirt.
When the juvenile tried to leave to get to his next class because the bell had rang, he said Williams lifted him by his shirt, threw him against the lockers and began to drag him along the row of lockers.
Williams followed the child into Assistant Principal Melanie Durio’s office where the situation began to escalate. James and the other Assistant Principal, Michael Lanclos, went to Durio’s office to diffuse the problem.
The child stated that he was trying to tell them what happened in the locker room with Williams and he wanted to leave and talk with his mother. Bourque’s report states that the administration did not allow him to do so and as the child attempted to leave the office, James got into a tussle with him.
James pinned the child up against the wall and brought him to the ground where he pinned him down until law enforcement arrived.
The principal did confirm the story and said the child was out of control and tried to leave the office before he held him down on the ground for approximately 15-20 minutes.
The detective says in the report that she spoke with faculty and one student who was in the locker room at the time, all of which corroborated with the juvenile’s story.
Williams said the child was being sassy and not wanting to tuck in his shirt. He said he brought the child in the locker room to speak with him and the child was cursing at him and not listening. The coach said he tried to keep the child from leaving, but he eventually took him to the office.
Bourque also states that after speaking with several faculty members and all witnesses, they described exactly what the child reported. Bourque wrote that when the child arrived in her office, he had one large contusion on the upper right side of his back and an open abrasion with a scrape on the left side of his back.
SLPSO Chief Deputy Hillman Papillon said Tuesday James was arrested for simple battery and Williams for cruelty to a juvenile.
Both suspects maintain that they were attempting discipline or to control the student.
Both suspects surrendered willingly and without incident. Williams was released upon his recognizance and James was released on $1,000 bond.
St. Landry Parish Superintendent Edward Brown said Tuesday both men are currently on paid administrative leave and the school board’s central office has started its own investigation into the matter.