Police: Special needs student might have been put in headlock before death

Wordsworth Academy 

CBS Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia police say they are investigating the death of a 15-year-old special-needs student who might have been placed in a headlock by a school staff member during a scuffle.

Police say they were called to the Wordsworth Academy at about 11 p.m. Thursday where the student was found dead. Wordsworth is a private residential school for children with special needs.

Police say the teenage boy had mental health and medical issues and might have been put in a headlock by a staff member who was attempting to subdue him.

Police believe the struggle may have been triggered when school staff discovered an iPod in the teen’s room that didn’t belong to him, reports CBS Philadelphia. They say the boy fell, struck his head and died as a result of his injuries, the station reports.

Investigators reportedly believe the death was an accident.

A Wordsworth Academy spokeswoman says the school is “shocked and saddened” but can’t comment further during the ongoing police investigation.

The school’s website says it provides “education, behavioral health, and child welfare services to children and youth who are experiencing emotional, behavioral and academic challenges.”