Baker librarian accused of choking boy

BAKER — Police on Wednesday arrested another Baker school system employee accused of choking a student, Police Chief Mike Knaps said.

Knaps said Baker Heights Elementary librarian Maxine Gray, 67, 4317 Union Drive, Baker, was booked at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count of cruelty to a juvenile.

The arrest stemmed from a Sept. 1 incident at the school in which Gray is accused of choking a 9-year-old boy after telling him repeatedly to sit down, Knaps said.

The boy told police he initially refused to sit, then sat down and got back up again. He accused Gray of grabbing his shirt by one hand and putting the other hand around his neck and choking him.

The boy’s regular teacher, at one point, told police she witnessed Gray grab the boy by the back of his neck and push him, Knaps said. The teacher intervened by getting between the two and sending the boy to another teacher, the police chief said.

The boy’s mother made a complaint about the incident on Sept. 29. At that time, police were told the incident was being investigated by the Baker school system, but the mother told police she wanted to pursue criminal charges, Knaps said.

Gray denied the student’s allegations when questioned on Wednesday, the police chief said.

Police arrested a Bakerfield Elementary teacher, Mildred Russ, last week on a cruelty to a juvenile count stemming from an alleged choking incident involving a 6-year-old girl.