Southeastern PA

Man sought in school assault of student in Reading arrested in New York

Ismael Seals charged with assault, endangering welfare of children

Man sought in school assault of student arrested in New York

READING, Pa. - A man sought by authorities in the assault of a student inside a school in Reading has been captured in New York.

Ismael Seals was apprehended in Syracuse, according to Berks County District Attorney John Adams.

Seals was expected to turn himself in to authorities on a long list of charges last week, but that never happened, so detectives considered him a fugitive and put out a warrant for his arrest.

Seals, 34, of Philadelphia, was working as a behavioral specialist at the Paramount Academy, a school for students with therapeutic needs, supervising a class on April 24, officials said.

Certain students in the class were being loud, at which point Seals threatened to "body slam" the next person who spoke, officials said.

A short time later, officials said one of the students who was not being loud asked, and was granted permission by the class instructor, to sharpen his pencil.

As the student stood, detectives said Seals ordered him to sit and then slammed the student against the classroom door multiple times, eventually forcing him into the hallway, where the alleged assault continued in view of surveillance cameras, with Seals swinging the student headfirst into a wall and pinning him to the floor.

According to investigators, both Seals and the instructor, Teresa Bivens, later lied to investigators about the incident, falsely claiming that the victim had acted disruptively prior to the attack.

Seals is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of children, tampering with public records and related offenses.

Bivens was also charged in the case.

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