by MATT REED AND JARED PELLETIER, NBC 10 NEWS, Tuesday, April 4th 2017
WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WJAR) — A suspended Woonsocket police officer was being held at the ACI as a parole violator after allegedly assaulting a Woonsocket high school student.
A police report obtained by NBC 10 News noted that Patrick Cahill was arrested March 27 at Woonsocket High School. He’s accused of putting a student in a headlock and then punching the student in the face before throwing him to the ground.
The report also noted that Cahill was volunteering with the football team and that the incident allegedly occurred after a 16-year-old student was distracting football players who were lifting weights.
A school resource officer found the student with a bloody nose and said witness statements are consistent.
The school district’s superintendent said they’re investigating along with police and are looking into whether a proper criminal background check was done on Cahill.
It isn’t the first time Cahill has been in legal trouble.
Cahill was arrested in 2012 for allegedly abusing his 9-year-old half-sister. At the time, he was suspended without pay.
In 2014, he was convicted and ordered to serve six months in prison. He is currently appealing his conviction on those charges.
The superintendent said state law normally prohibits anyone with a felony conviction from working with students at a public school, but that it’s unclear if any laws were broken in this case because Cahill is appealing the prior conviction.
Given his record, some parents wonder why Cahill was allowed to work with students.
“I think it should’ve been looked into more,” said Diane Libucha, a parent.
Students shared similar sentiments.
“They should be here to protect us, not betray us like that,” Michaneli Cuello, a student, said of officers.