Wellston, MO (KSDK) - We count on school security guards to keep school's safe. We count on them to protect our children, but there is an allegation against a Normandy High School security guard that is so disturbing the I-Team's Leisa Zigman has learned, even the FBI is investigating.
NewsChannel 5 first reported this incident two weeks ago. To our surprise, nothing had been done since the alleged incident took place.
The I-Team has now learned the FBI is looking at whether this security guard used excessive force after chasing down a student who was late to class. The student has been in ICU for the past two weeks and suffered injuries that are so severe the family says he needed open heart surgery.
Damontae Woods' grandmother says she dropped him off at Normandy Highschool around 8 a.m. October 21st.
Forty minutes later an ambulance rushed the 18-year-old junior to St. Louis Children's Hospital.
"He had to have open heart surgery. His heart was busted in two pieces, from the security guard at the school," said Luella Woods.
His crime, according to his grandmother, is that he was late to class. His family says, when security saw him in the hallway, he took off running. The security officer that caught him, allegedly caused the injuries that ruptured his heart.
Bob Herman is the family's attorney.
"The amount of force necessary to rupture a heart is clearly excessive," said Herman.
After two weeks, police still can't tell us what happened to Damontae because police never investigated the incident.
Wellston police Chief G.T. Walker says they were waiting for the family to file a complaint.
"It's my understanding that the parent, relative or somebody will be contacting me for an investigation," said Chief Walker.
The family can't understand why there hasn't been a police investigation for assault or excessive use of force. So the I-Team went to Wellston's police chief for answers.
"I'll take the initiative, contact the family and see what we can work out to get a report done. And I wasn't aware that the child's injuries were that serious," said Chief Walker.
But police were aware an ambulance was called to the school. In fact, details of the 911 tape shared with the I-Team verbally by the dispatching agency indicate two calls.
The first saying Woods was being arrested. One minute later another call, this time requesting an ambulance because Woods was going in and out of consciousness.
Normandy school officials refused to comment, and when we went directly to school security for answers, they refused to talk. No one wanted to talk about what happened on school grounds to Damontae Woods. No one could explain why Wellston police weren't investigating.
It turns out the security guard in question, has a connection to Wellston's Mayor.
He works for the Mayor Linda Whitfield's husband, who is the Normandy School District's Chief of Security, Dwight Whitfield.
"I don't know of any friendship or any relationship and I am going to write a report. I wouldn't allow anyone from the outside or a police officer to dictate policy, that wouldn't be proper," said Chief Walker.
The I-Team caught up with the mayor at a City Council meeting last week.
[Reporter]: "Madam Mayor, I've tried to reach you all day. Can you tell me if you used your influence as mayor to stop a police investigation into a family friend?"
"No comment," said Linda Whitfield.
[Reporter]: "Madam Mayor, there's a boy in the hospital. He's going to be in ICU for four months. Did you use your position as mayor?"
"No comment," said Linda Whitfield.
The family says the only communication from the school was on the day Woods was rushed to the hospital.
While doctors were operating on his heart, school administrators claimed they held an informal hearing with Damontae. They gave him a three day suspension for skipping class.
We are not identifying the security guard because he hasn't been charged with a crime. His license is current and says he is licensed to work at Normandy High School and Christian Hospital.
Wellston's police chief says his department is cooperating with the FBI investigation into whether the guard used excessive force.
All security is hired by Normandy's Board of Education. Ultimately it is the school board that is accountable. There is a meeting tomorrow night and we plan to be there to ask more questions.
Damontae remains in critical condition.