ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW) – An Elyria City Schools parent is now facing a felony charge after she allegedly sprayed an elementary school principal in the face with pepper spray and then took off from the scene.
According to a police report, officers were called to Hamilton Elementary School at about 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18.
The principal tells police that at the time he was greeting students in the hallways when he noticed 27-year-old Jessica Houze, a parent, arguing and yelling obscenities at the school’s assistant principal and another school administrator.
Security video shows the incident.
Officials tell police the assistant principal was attempting to keep the parent from entering the school from an unauthorized doorway.
As the principal approached the situation to see what was going on, the police reports said Houze began “bombarding” the principal with obscenities and stating: “That’s the guy I want.”
At this point, the parent was just outside of the school doors. The principal tells police he advised the parent to leave the premises and attempted to pull the door shut. This is when the report says Houze sprayed the principal in the face using the pepper spray attached to her keys.
The police report says the principal was “clearly… dealing with the effects” of being sprayed with pepper spray.
Officers reviewed surveillance video and say Houze also appears to threaten the assistant principal, who is seven months pregnant, with the spray. The assistant principal was not harmed.
Police note in their report that surveillance video shows school officials did not touch or push the parent from the building.
A couple of hours later, Houze turned herself in to the police. She has been charged with assault on a school official, a felony, and criminal trespassing for not leaving the school when requested.
A statement from the district says that the school was placed on hold, which is a modified lockdown after Houze fled. It was in place until she was arrested.