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Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall Counselor Charged with Assaulting Teen in April Incident

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday announced a juvenile hall counselor is facing felony assault charges for repeatedly punching a detained teen and slamming his head against the floor last April.

According to a release issued by the District Attorney's Office, 46-year-old Tracy resident Robert Medellin allegedly assaulted the 17-year-old detainee when he was intervening in a fight between the victim and two other juveniles.

On April 14 of this year, two juveniles attacked another juvenile in the common area inside one of the juvenile hall buildings. A veteran probation employee with approximately 18 years of experience, Medellin intervened and grabbed one of the juveniles who had initiated the attack.

The DA's Office said Medellin took the 17-year-old juvenile to the floor and then punched him approximately a dozen times as the juvenile tried to protect his head with his hands. Once Medellin had the teen face down on the ground, he slammed the juvenile's head into the floor one time before he was cuffed.

Authorities said the incident was captured on video. The video is not being released by the DA's Office to protect the juveniles' identities and the integrity of the case.

"Sometimes force by law enforcement is necessary to stop a dangerous person from hurting others," Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in the release. "However, excessive force by a person hired to protect and serve minors is unnecessary and wrong. It is over the line, unacceptable, and criminal."

Authorities said Medellin will be arraigned at a later date. If convicted, he faces jail time.

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