School Officer Accused Of Placing Knee On Girl’s Neck In Middle School Fight

See a police officer use a banned neck restraint on young girl during a middle school fight.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

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middle school fight

An off-duty police officer has found himself in a world of trouble after using a banned move to break up a middle school fight in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The officer, identified as Shawn Guetschow, is a member of the Kenosha Police Department, and he can be seen in a school video taking a 12-year-old female to the ground. Once he has her there, he’s accused of pressing his knee to the back of her neck to keep her still.

The fight took place during lunch inside the cafeteria at Lincoln Middle School. The video shows Guetschow, at the bottom of the frame and working at the school as a security officer, speaking with an unidentified staff member as the two girls begin to argue. Guetschow notices this and keeps a close eye on the two. When the first girl (dressed in a gray hoodie) pushes the other girl, Guetschow and the staff member run quickly to intervene in the middle school fight. Before they can get to the girls, a number of blows were thrown between the two.

Guetschow arrives as the middle school fight breaks out and the two girls continue to trade punches. He throws one girl to the side and then pins the gray hoodie girl to the floor. As he struggles with her, he first pushes her head to the floor with his hand before maneuvering and shoving his knee onto her neck. While he has her in the now-banned neck restraint, he places her in handcuffs. All the while, in the background, the other girl in the fight continues to try to get to the girl on the ground, throwing punches. Finally, Guetschow is able to get the handcuffed girl to her feet and hauls her off. You can see the entire middle school fight below.

Jerrel Perez, the father of the girl put in a chokehold and handcuffs, says his daughter was the target of a bully in the middle school fight. After seeing the surveillance video, Perez announced that the family will be filing a lawsuit against Guetschow, as well as the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha Unified School District. The Perez family has obtained representation who said in a statement via Fox 6 News:

“Mr. Perez just received the surveillance video from Lincoln Middle School. He is appalled by what he has seen,” the lawyer explained about the middle school fight concerning Perez’s daughter. “Officer Guetschow gripped his hand around Mr. Perez’s daughter’s neck and pushed her neck and head into the cafeteria floor. He then placed his knee on her neck and knelt down with the full weight of his body for an unconscionable duration. Officer Guetschow then handcuffed Mr. Perez’s daughter and violently lifted her from the ground. This was a cruel and heartless act of violence aimed at a child and is unacceptable in our society.

In light of this video, Mr. Perez demands that the Kenosha Police Department immediately terminate Officer Guetschow.”

middle school fight

The neck restraint move that Officer Guetschow employed has been banned in the state of Wisconsin for some time now and has been highly controversial since the death of George Floyd. In June 2021, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed a bill that prevented law enforcement officers to use chokeholds. The bill does give officers the right to use these controversial moves if they are involved in life-threatening situations or in self-defense. This middle school fight does not appear to be any of those situations.

After the incident, Guetschow was placed on administrative leave. Shortly after that, he resigned from his part-time gig as the middle school security officer. In his resignation letter to Kenosha Superintendent Beth Ormseth, Guetschow says it was the lack of communication and support from the district regarding his actions during the middle school fight, as well as the strain on his family, that led him to his resignation. He wrote, via the New York Post: “Given the events that have taken place and the escalated attention this incident at Lincoln Middle School has caused in the community, mental and emotional strain it has [brought] upon my family, and the lack of communication and or support I have received from the district, I can no longer continue my employment with the Kenosha Unified School District.”

While many are calling for Guetschow’s job with the Kenosha Police Department, they too released a statement concerning the middle school fight events saying they are “aware of Guetschow’s resignation from the school district and the verbal notice of claim made by an attorney representing the student.” They also stated that Guetschow is still employed by the police department and “we continue our investigation, paying careful attention to the entire scope of the incident.”