A Pittsburgh judge called Daishonta Williams a danger to the community and denied her attorney’s request to reinstate her bond last week after she committed a sneak-attack on her daughter’s teacher on Oct. 18.
Believing that teacher Janice Davis Watkins had choked her 10 year old daughter, Williams, 29, and her boyfriend, Vincent Beasley, 26, followed the teacher after she left school one afternoon. While stopped in traffic, Williams threw a brick at Watkins, 46, before pulling her from her car and violently beating her.
The teacher told police that Williams and Beasley both pulled her hair, punched her and kicked her, according to a criminal complaint filed against the two. Both are charged with aggravated assault, stalking, terroristic threats, and recklessly endangering another person.
Beasley posted bond and was released from jail, but Williams will remain in custody.
Previous reports indicate that Williams was upset over the way the school handled an earlier incident, in which the teacher took her daughter’s cell phone away. Watkins said the girl bit her, while the girl is accusing her teacher of choking her, according to police.
“It is Ms. Williams allegation that the teacher choked her daughter,” said defense attorney Blaine Jones. “First she went to the school to address it. The school kind of told her to go somewhere else, then she went to the police station and the police station told her to go back to the Pittsburgh school police, so every step along the way no one was listening to what Ms. Williams had to say.”
Police said Williams’ admitted she attacked the teacher.
“If somebody put their hands on your child, what would you do? I didn’t technically follow her out the school. I waited for her to pull out and I followed her to the stop light, Williams told WPXI-TV. “I’m not denying that my daughter bit her, but my daughter would never attack someone unless she felt threatened. I regret the way I went about the situation, but as a mother, you’re not going to put your hands around my child’s neck.”
Watkins, who teaches fourth and fifth grade at inner-city Pittsburgh King PreK-8 School, suffered injuries to her face and lost a tooth. She said she was threatened by Williams during a parent-teacher conference held Oct. 18 about the cell-phone incident. Williams reportedly threatened Watkins at the time, telling the teacher that she would “Get it later.”
When asked by reporters why she took away the student’s phone in the first place, Watkins responded, “Why take the phone? It wasn’t that, because I’m a teacher and I have power, there are the rules. If she is not taught rules, who cares if she can read and write, if she can’t follow the rules.”
School district president Nina Exposito-Visgitis said she was “appalled, incensed and enraged.” This horrific attack is the most appalling act that I have had to address in my six years as your president. I know acts of violence like this do not represent our kids or our parents, but it is beyond unacceptable,” she said.
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