Mothers can be fiercely protective over their children, but one Long Island mother may have taken things a little too far after knocking her daughter’s teacher unconscious in the middle of the school day.
Police say 34-year-old Annika McKenzie assaulted the female teacher, identified as Catherine Engelhardt, with McKenzie’s attorney, Donald Rollock, claiming the teacher had “put her hands on” McKenzie’s 12-year-old daughter earlier in the day.
“As any loving parent, if someone puts their hand on your child, you’re going to react,” he said.
Hempstead Classroom Teachers Association President Elias Mestizo said Engelhardt is a veteran math teacher.
Mestizo said there was a security breach, with McKenzie walking into the building without being cleared by security. She reportedly went to the classroom and waited outside in the hallway for the teacher. As Engelhadt returned, there was a conversation about an “incident earlier in the day,” and the teacher called for security.
Authorities say the teacher was shoved against the wall, placed in a headlock and thrown to the floor, where she was kicked and punched by several students, including McKenzie’s 14-year-old niece. The teen was arrested, and both suspects are being charged with second-degree assault. McKenzie also faces a charge of strangulation.
McKenzie’s 14-year-old niece will be tried as a juvenile in family court.