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Teacher accused of choking students with jump rope

Posted at 4:00 AM, Sep 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-30 04:00:01-04

FRESNO, CA (KGPE/KSEE/CNN) - A physical education teacher in California is facing charges after officials say he choked elementary school students with a jump rope.

The sheriff's office said Friday that Peter Samhammer was arrested on four felony counts of child abuse.

Authorities received a report that students had suffered injuries during his class at Herndon Barstow Elementary in Fresno Thursday.

The alleged victims are between nine and 11 years old.

"We learned that there were four kids who had suffered some injuries. What they had was redness around their neck and shoulder area,” Tony Botti of Fresno County Sheriff's Office said. “The statements we got from the kids is that Mr. Samhammer had disciplined them during class out on the blacktop. What he did is he took a jump rope and wrapped it around their necks, took it back and then let it go."

Central Unified School District released a statement in response to the arrest. It said that Samhammer was on official administrative leave.

“Student safety is a top priority for the district and as such, we are fully cooperating with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office and will continue to do so throughout the course of its investigation," the statement said.

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