Teacher accused of attacking boy claims self-defense

A substitute gym teacher accused of attacking a third-grader at a New Rochelle elementary school said Tuesday that he was the real victim of the attack.

Daniel Sanabria, 58, was arrested Friday for allegedly assaulting an 11-year-old student at Webster Elementary School after a disagreement over a dodge ball game. However, Sanabria claims he merely defended himself against the unruly student.

"When I turned around, this little boy was hitting me," he says.

Police confirm that the child punched Sanabria, but say it was only after the teacher antagonized him by calling the third-grader a crybaby. Sanabria claims he responded to being hit by wrapping his arms around the boy, but police say the teacher put the 11-year-old in a chokehold, pushed his head into a wall and threw him to the ground.

Sanabria was charged with aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. A judge ordered the teacher to stay away from Webster Elementary School and from the boy involved in the incident.

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