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Security guard at Pueblo middle school charged with child abuse after incident

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- A Pueblo Middle School Security guard faces a child abuse charge after allegedly placing a student in a headlock and taking the child to the ground this week, according to court documents obtained by 13 Investigates.

Brendan Killingsworth, 27, was arrested Wednesday one day after the incident occurred at Ersilia Cruz Middle which is a part of the Chavez Huerta Prep campus.

According to court records, Killingsworth was working security at the middle school when the underage student yelled, "Why are you looking at me stupid?" Soon after, court records state the altercation began.

After reviewing the security video of the incident, Pueblo Police say Killingsworth put the student in a headlock, used a leg sweep, and took the student to the ground.

The student wasn't severely injured, they did have a few scrapes. The student declined any medical treatment after the incident, according to the court document.

Afterward, Killingsworth was escorted off the campus by administrators and later resigned from his position at DC Security. Killingsworth worked for DC Security for a little more than three weeks.

“This was totally terrible judgment on the side of the operator,” said Dan Corsentino, the owner of DC Security. “Even if this young man may have used derogatory language, profanity, or the F word to the operator, they shouldn’t automatically engage over a type of verbal abuse or verbal criticism.” 

Ersillia Cruz Middle School told Pueblo Police there were multiple complaints where Killingsworth appeared aggressive towards students, even snatching phones out of students' hands. Corsentino says he was never made aware of those complaints.

Killingsworth declined an on-camera interview, however, he did speak with 13 Investigates over the phone and provided a statement.

“I’m never working security again, and shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. I’m deeply sorry,” Killingsworth told KRDO.

The former security guard added that he had no backup on Tuesday, saying there are usually one or two other security operators on campus in case assistance is needed. Killingsworth also says DC Security never properly trained him prior to placing him at the school to serve as a security operator.

“I would agree with him," said Corsentino when asked about the lack of training Killingsworth says he received. "I would actually agree with him, to some degree, [but] with an individual that uses poor judgement and no common sense, even if he had the training, it’s unpredictable as to whether or not that would’ve mitigated the situation.” 

Corsentino says his team takes full responsibility for the incident and he has personally apologized to the student's family. He says DC Security deals with multiple incidents every day and a majority of the incidents have a positive outcome.

13 Investigates reached out to Chávez Huerta Prepatory Academy. However, officials say they declined to comment and cannot discuss a current investigation or a personal matter.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. Intense trauma from unchecked toxic abuse usually results in a helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it can act as a starting point into a life in which the brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines.

    The lasting emotional/psychological pain from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others. It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is treated with some form of medicating, either prescribed or illicit. …

    The wellbeing of ALL children — and not just what other parents’ children might/will cost us as future criminals or costly cases of government care, etcetera — needs to be of real importance to us all, regardless of whether we’re doing a great job with our own developing children. A mentally sound future should be every child’s fundamental right — along with air, water, food and shelter — especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter.

  2. Isn’t it it a shame that we have to have security guards in schools to protect teachers from students, students from students and keep bad guys out of the school. Do much disrespect and disregard by so many involved.

  3. Another person must suffer for the incompetents of a school administration. Failure to provide proper training to individuals before allowing them to work with children. Now the minimum wage slave will pay the price for the college educated morons failure. Nice going. When will you learn not to trust your children to a failing system and hold them accountable. Every administrator in that school needs to be fired and held partially responsible for the incident.

    1. Yes, that’s right. Any school that “needs” security guards, that’s a red flag from day one. It is absolutely the case that there is a lot of dysfunction among the student population at any school and it’s a hard problem to solve these days, but setting mall cops up around campus is hardly the answer.

      12 years ago I gave up on public schools. I taught in them and had my kids in them, but after trying very hard to reform the system and then trying hard to move about to find a good set of schools, in the end I came to the conclusion that it is entirely corrupted. It didn’t have to be that way, but it has only become worse over time. Everyone on both sides arguing about critical race theory or pronouns when what school really need is hard working teachers and leaders who care about the work and are smart and knowledgeable, smaller schools, integrity, and systems that reward people taking risks for the right reasons and that can quickly reject the incompetent, the control freaks, the cowards, and the bureaucrats — not to mention the abusers, who more and more fine their place in the school system. Home schooling has serious issues, also, it can be a hard road and it is not always ideal, but despite all the hardship and difficulty I still can’t imagine thinking it a good idea to put my kids into public school full time. It’s just a horrible mess everywhere, and adults are largely blind to that. People with kids are in denial, and people without kids in school simply don’t believe it could be as bad as it is.

  4. Another Charter School run by morons, hiring morons, and catering to parents who typically are….you guessed it…

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