HOUSTON – A La Porte Independent School District teacher faced a judge Monday morning after being accused of throwing a dodgeball at an 8-year-old student.
Ryan Lee Lemmon, 31, is charged with injury to a child. Lemmon is a physical education teacher at College Park Elementary School.
According to court documents, Lemmon told police he saw the boy throw a dodgeball at another student's face, so as the boy was walking off the court Lemmon threw a dodgeball in the boy's direction, striking him in the face.
Police said Lemmon told them he was upset with the boy at the time and that he acknowledged he had not acted in a professional manner.
Court documents state video footage confirmed that Lemmon threw the ball at the boy's face.
"The ball that we're talking about in this case is a foam ball that's safe for all ages, to include toddlers. So that's what the young boy was hit with," Joseph Gutheinz said. "The doctor that examined the boy did not find any (ear)drum damage, but what he found was if he had any hearing loss at all, it was probably due to loud noise."
Lemmon's attorney said the school suspended Lemmon with pay until the case has been resolved.
"My client, who has been teaching for eight years, who's loved by his students, never had a problem in school, has a sterling record, no criminal history, is being charged with a third-degree felony for accidentally hitting a child with a foam ball in the head," Gutheinz said.
Lemmon was arrested Thursday. He posted a $5,000 bond.