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School safety agent, teacher slashed helping colleague at P.S. 69 in the Bronx

Guidance counselor attacked at P.S. 69 in the Bronx 02:07

NEW YORK -- There was a frightening attack and a heroic response Thursday morning at an elementary school in the Bronx. A safety agent and a teacher jumped into action when a man attacked a guidance counselor.

CBS2's Tony Aiello has details and reaction from Public School 69 in the Soundview section of the borough.

School let out Thursday afternoon and students started the Easter/Passover break grateful for the actions of school safety agent Hector Garcia and fifth grade teacher Jared Nash.

"I would like to say a big thank you for keeping everyone in the school safe and out of danger," student Cameron Sepulveda said.

The incident happened at 7:40 a.m. before students arrived at P.S. 69 Journey Prep. The NYPD says a 23-year-old man armed with a sharp object stormed the entrance and began hitting his ex-girlfriend, a guidance counselor.

Garcia intervened and was stabbed near his left ear. Nash also got involved and was later seen on a stretcher. He was taken to the hospital with an injury to his arm.

"The teacher continued to chase the assailant out of the building, who jumped into a vehicle and made his way off," said Mark Rampersant, New York City's school security chief. "However, not before this amazing teacher got all of the particulars, the description as well as the make, model and license plate of the vehicle, helping the NYPD quickly apprehend this individual."

Thursday evening the NYPD charged 23-year-old Claudio Villar of the Bronx with multiple charges including attempted aggravated murder, attempted vehicular assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Recent violence at and near schools, including the April 8 stray-bullet shooting of three students, one of whom died, has weighed heavily on the mind of the Borough President Vanessa Gibson.

"We are living in challenging times in this city and, unfortunately, we are experiencing an increase in violence across the Bronx," Gibson said.

The union says before budget cuts P.S. 69 had three safety agents. Now, it has one. Schools Chancellor David Banks joined Mayor Eric Adams in urging more funding to restore school safety jobs.

"I used to be a school safety agent. So when I hear people say that we don't need school safety agents, today is a perfect example of why school safety agents are critically important to ensuring the safety of our children," Banks said about the attack. "We need a lot of other things as well -- more counselors, more support, but we need our safety agents. So let's not be confused about that."   

The union says the rank of school agents is down by about 2,000 positions from several years ago.

Both the teacher and school safety agent who were slashed are expected to make full recoveries.

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