A Pittsburgh teacher was followed in her car and allegedly assaulted with a brick because she took a student's cell phone away, Pittsburgh CBS-affiliate KDKA reported Wednesday. 

Janice Davis Watkins, a teacher at Pittsburgh King Prek-8 School, was followed by a man and a woman in a black SUV after she left school Wednesday. While at a traffic light, Daishonta M. Williams, the parent of a Pittsburgh King student, allegedly threw a brick at the teacher’s car. Williams, 29, then assaulted Watkins, 46.

Authorities spoke with Vincent Beasley, the man accompanying Williams during the attack on the teacher, but he said he did not participate in the assault.

The incident occurred after Watkins took away a cellphone from Williams’ daughter, a fourth-grade student at Pittsburgh King. Watkins allegedly choked the girl, who in turn bit Watkins, Pittsburgh NBC-affiliate WPXI reported Wednesday. When she was attacked, Watkins was on her way to a local clinic to have her bite wound examined.

Watkins obtained a lacerated lip and lost one tooth, according to court records. She was taken to Allegheny General Hospital.

Her attacker was charged with aggravated assault, stalking, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person. At a previous parent-teacher conference, Watkins’ children said Williams had threatened their mother.

Williams spoke to WPXI Wednesday about why she attacked Watkins.

“If somebody put their hands on your child, what would you do? I didn’t technically follow her out of the school. I waited for her to pull out and I followed her to the stoplight,” Williams said. “I regret the way I went about the situation, but as a mother, you’re not going to put your hands around my child’s neck.”

She was arrested and admitted to punching Watkins, but denied throwing the brick at the car. Williams said she would file a police report about Watkins’ alleged actions towards her daughter.

The victim’s mother, Betty Davis, elaborated on her condition to KDKA Wednesday. She said her daughter’s face was swollen and medical professionals were doing everything in their power to make her comfortable. Watkins was listed as being in stable condition.

Ebony Pugh, a Pittsburgh Public Schools spokesperson, released a statement regarding the attack. Portions of the statement are below:

“We are deeply troubled by the violent act against a teacher of the Pittsburgh Public Schools that occurred on the West End Bridge yesterday afternoon, and we are currently cooperating with the City of Pittsburgh Police Department’s investigation.

Violence of any kind against a PPS staff member or citizen is unacceptable, and the individuals responsible must be held accountable for such horrifying behavior.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the teacher who was injured in yesterday’s incident, and we wish her a full and speedy recovery. As the incident is the subject of an active City Police investigation, no further comment will be provided by the District at this time.”  

According to Pugh, the school district has a policy for each of its schools that prohibits cell phone usage in classrooms, but enforcement of the policy varies from school to school. Teachers can confiscate students’ cell phones if they think it is appropriate.

brick A Pittsburgh teacher is in stable condition after having been followed in her car, hit with a brick and assaulted Wednesday. Photo: Laura Grimm/Flickr