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Substitute teacher arrested after choking, punching 8th grader

A substitute teacher was arrested after he allegedly assaulted an eighth-grade boy during a summer program at Southside Elementary School on Thursday, choking him, slamming him onto a desk and “repeatedly” punching him in the face, city police reported Thursday.

Police identified the substitute teacher as Mark Magavern, 31, of Buffalo. Magavern was charged with third-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and second-degree harassment.

Buffalo school officials said Magavern was a substitute teacher and that he has been fired. "He has been terminated from his employment with the district," said Nate Kuzma, general counsel for Buffalo Public Schools.

The  incident at the school at 430 Southside Parkway was described in a police report filed Thursday.

The victim, whose name was not released, allegedly threw a chair at Magavern, thinking the teacher was “going to attack him,” according to the police report.

The chair missed Magavern, who picked up a table and threw it at the student, “just missing” the boy’s head, the report stated. The teacher then grabbed the boy, “slammed” him on a desk and began choking him and “repeatedly” punched him in the face, the police report said.

About 20 students under the age of 16 witnessed the incident, according to the police report. Two school employees also saw the assault, police said.

The student had finger marks on his neck, and was punched in the ribs, causing bruising and swelling, the report said.

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