A former NFL player-turned-high school health teacher and assistant football coach was arrested Friday for assaulting the same student twice — and promptly resigned, police said.
Sheddrick Wilson, 44, who played wide receiver at LSU and for the Houston Oilers, allegedly assaulted the 16-year-old at Archbishop Stepinac HS during two separate occasions, court records show.
Sometime in January or February 2017 while Wilson was teaching health class at the prestigious White Plains, New York, school, he ordered the victim, known only as “JM” in court papers, to the front of the classroom and asked him to remove his glasses, records show.
Wilson then slapped “JM” in the face with an open hand in front of “several other students” causing a “stinging sensation” to his face and embarrassment, court papers say.
A couple of months before that in December 2016, Wilson allegedly punched the student twice in the back of his head in the school’s locker room, also in front of several other students, records show.
The former baller sparred with the student, who’s now 18 and no longer attends the school, for using the “n-word,” said Wilson’s lawyer Bruce Bendish.
“It will be established that the kid used the ‘n-word’ on numerous occasions and was admonished by a number of teachers that it was inappropriate,” Bendish said, but denied his client assaulted the student.
Videos of the alleged assault show a teacher and a student standing in front of a classroom in one of the videos.
“Take off your glasses,” the teacher can be heard saying and is then seen moving his hand towards the student’s face before a loud slapping sound is heard. Students can be heard laughing afterwards.
In the second video, which is believed to be the December 2016 incident, a larger man in a red shirt can be seen holding the arm of what appears to be a student, whose arms are in front of his face in a blocking position. The larger man then forcefully strikes the student with a closed fist on the back of his head twice, making a loud “pop” sound.
Bendish said he is yet to be given the videos allegedly depicting his client and won’t comment on them until he’s seen them.
Wilson was charged with two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor after he surrendered at the White Plains Police Headquarters with his lawyer Friday at 9 am, Bendish said. He was released without bail and resigned from Stepinac by the afternoon, the school confirmed, who said his resignation is “effective immediately.”
“Although Stepinac has not yet been contacted by law enforcement officials regarding the allegations, Stepinac will fully cooperate with any investigation,” the statement read.
Police learned of the case a few weeks ago from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Unit, Bendish said. It was not immediately clear why there was a lag between the assault and the arrest but Bendish believes it is because the victim wants to sue the school and Wilson in a civil lawsuit.
“I think that people have to look at the facts that this occurred 23 months ago, the statute of limitations is 24 months and they come in and make a complaint 23 months after the incident and he just happens to have a civil lawyer,” Bendish said.
“I believe the timing of the criminal complaint has to be considered when evaluating the credibility of these charges.” He plans to request a trial as soon as possible and will be back in court on Dec. 13 with Wilson.
Jared Rice, who’s representing the victim in a civil lawsuit that will be filed before the end of the year, said there’s no reason to strike a child, regardless of what was said.
“He’s supposed to be there to protect the children and it wasn’t self-defense clearly so there’s no reason possible for him to have done that,” Rice told The Post.
“[In the civil lawsuit], we’re looking at Stepinac, we’re looking at this individual, we’re looking at how this occurred and how to prevent this from happening in the future.”