By: Michael Seinberg
Picture this in your mind. Well, at least try to. A 4’ 2” 50 pound first grader by the name of Rodrigo Carpio has a hissy fit and kicks John Webster, 27, a 220-pound gym teacher at PS330 in Queens. Result? Webster plans to sue the City of New York claiming the little beast fractured his ankle, injured his knee and forced him to see a psychologist due to stress from the incident. You just can’t make stuff like this up.
The events took place last April when Webster was leading Carpio’s class to the lunchroom and Carpio started acting up. Webster tried to get Carpio to settle but instead, the boy became physically aggressive and karate kicked Webster in the knee and ankle. Obviously, he was wearing steel-toed boots or is the reincarnation of Bruce Lee.
“I tried to hold his wrists, and he began biting me,’’ Webster said. “I took him to the principal’s office, and he kicked me in the ankle, and one kick landed right on my knee. I felt a pop.’’ Rodrigo then kicked and pinched the acting principal and school safety officer, the occurrence report states.
Little Rodrigo is now back at school this year and doing much better thanks to some medication, according to his mother. Webster, on the other hand claims he must now wear a knee brace and ankle brace, plus let’s not forget his damaged psyche. “It’s been a nightmare. It’s embarrassing. It’s humiliating,” said the onetime tailback for Morrisville State College. But not too embarrassing to sue the city.
This case is just another illustration that no matter what the issue, nobody is willing to just move forward with their lives and accept that bad things sometimes happen. This case will cost the taxpayers of the state, give the school a black eye (pun intended) and not really help anyone except one Andrew Siben, a trial attorney from Bay Shore, LI who is representing Webster. His take on the issue? “This kid is clearly a tiny terror,” he said. “It’s sad that teachers like Mr. Webster are not offered protection from someone who can endanger other teachers and students.” Yup, 50 pounds of pure terror.
Seems to me the real terror should be felt by the erstwhile litigator and his client at the prospect of trying to sell this story to a judge and jury. Does the phrase “laughed out of the courthouse” ring any bells here?