Woman accused in school assault told she could not pick up her daughter

Delores Thornton of Hagerstown is charged with two counts of second-degree assault

April 15, 2011|By DON AINES |
  • Thornton

A woman who allegedly assaulted the principal at Hickory Elementary School in Halfway Thursday afternoon had been told she could not pick up her daughter, according to the statement of probable cause filed by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Delores Thornton, 44, of 17403 Fair Oaks Court, Hagerstown, is charged with two counts of second-degree assault and one count of disturbing the operation of a school, the charging documents said.

During a bond review hearing Friday, Washington County District Court Judge Dana Moylan Wright kept Thornton's bond at $3,000.

"Actually, for the allegations you're facing the bail is rather low," Wright said.

"My daughter goes to Hickory .... The only thing I was trying to do was open the door," Thornton said at the hearing.

A deputy arrived at the school on Halfway Boulevard shortly before 4 p.m. and saw a school maintenance man pointing toward a woman. The deputy asked for her identification, but the woman told him "she was from New York and that's all I needed to know," the charging documents said.

Thornton later handed over her identification, the documents said.

Principal Amy Norris told the deputy that the Washington County Department of Social Services had asked that the school not allow Thornton to take her daughter from the school, the documents said.

When Thornton was seen outside the building, Norris went outside to explain that the department would not allow her to take custody of the child, the documents said. Thornton, however, told Norris she was taking her daughter, and the principal asked a teacher to call 911 and put the school on lockdown, the documents said.

Norris asked another teacher to close the door, but Thornton tried to force her way in and threatened to punch a teacher in the mouth, the documents said. Thornton punched Norris until a bus driver pulled her away from the door, the documents said.

Jerri McNew, a special-education case manager at the school, told the deputy she was holding the front door in an attempt to keep Thornton out, and her fingers got caught in the door, the documents said.

The charging documents did not indicate why social services did not want Thornton to have custody of her daughter.

Thornton is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 14. The second-degree assault charges carry maximum sentences of 10 years, and disturbing the operation of a school has a six-month maximum sentence.

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