Video shows teacher yanking chair out from under student

In inset, upper-left, teacher David Pfaff is seen in still from video showing him yanking chair from under student at Bailey Middle School in West Haven, Connecticut during week of November 2, 2015


WEST HAVEN, CONN. -- A West Haven middle school teacher was fired after a video showed him yanking the chair from underneath a student, sending the student to the floor, reports CBS Hartford, Connecticut affiliate WFSB-TV.

A criminal investigation was launched after David Pfaff, who was a teacher at Bailey Middle School, was seen getting aggressive with the student last week, the station says.

"We escorted that teacher out off campus ... because that video has begun a criminal investigation," West Haven Police Sgt. David Tammaro said.

When the unidentified student wouldn't listen, Pfaff is seen pulling the chair rather than calling the office or school security.

The video was taken on a cell phone by another student, then seen by a parent and sent to the administration.

Pfaff, who taught science, was hired in West Haven this past summer. Because he was still a probationary employee, the district quickly fired him.

"As soon as we were notified last week of the incident in question, we immediately contacted the appropriate authorities and terminated the teacher. We cannot comment further as the investigation is ongoing and it's also a personnel matter," West Haven Superintendent Neil C. Cavallaro said in a statement Monday.

Could Pfaff face charges?

"I don't think we're going to go into the specific charges until we sit down with a prosecutor and see if it warrants that," Tammaro said. "But we believe it does."

Residents and parents said they were disturbed by the video.

"I didn't expect to hear anything going on at Bailey, right across the street from where I live," Rocco Cimino told WFSB.

"It's just one of those things you don't like to see," said Joe Pascarelli, also of West Haven.