Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa teacher charged with spitting on boy, slamming his head on desk

Luis Rizo, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Adams Middle School in Tampa, was arrested and charged with child abuse on Tuesday. [Tampa Police Department]

Luis Rizo, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Adams Middle School in Tampa, was arrested and charged with child abuse on Tuesday. [Tampa Police Department]

TAMPA — An Adams Middle School teacher faces a child abuse charge after police say he spit in a 12-year-old student's face and slammed the boy's head onto a desk.

Luis Rizo, 43, was arrested Tuesday night, about six hours after the incident his classroom at the school on North Boulevard, according to Tampa police.

According to an arrest report, Rizo became upset after the boy grew "disrespectful" while Rizo was teaching. Rizo approached the boy as he was sitting at his desk and spit in his face, the report states. The boy became upset and stood up to walk past Rizo, who continued yelling at the boy.

When the boy yelled back, Rizo grabbed him by the throat and slammed his head onto the desk, the report states. Rizo held the boy's head on the desk, refusing to let him up, then grabbed the boy's shirt and fingers, twisting them. He then pulled the boy's hand behind his back and "tossed" him out of the classroom, according to the report.

Rizo's actions resulted in a small bruise behind the boy's ears and minor swelling in his fingers, the report states.

Rizo was booked into the Hillsborough County jail and released Wednesday after posting $2,000 bail. He declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.

Rizo has been pulled from the classroom and will work in a non-student area, away from a school campus while the district investigates, school district spokeswoman Tanya Arja.

"We are taking this matter very seriously and are waiting for more information from the investigation," she said.

Rizo was hired in August 2015 and teaches sixth grade social studies, Arja said. He spent his first year at Eisenhower Middle School and started at Adams last year. He has not had any other disciplinary incidents on file with the district's Office of Professional Standards.

Times senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

Tampa teacher charged with spitting on boy, slamming his head on desk 03/30/17 [Last modified: Thursday, March 30, 2017 4:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.