Man arrested after assaulting teacher at Dugan Park

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A 22-year-old man is in the Minnehaha County jail, accused of assaulting a teacher who was in a park with a group of students.

Sioux Falls Police say the 28-year-old victim teaches at a private school and was at Dugan Park near 37th and Duluth Avenue around 11:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Initially, there was some small talk between the teacher and the suspect. But police say the man started getting agitated and threatened to harm people.

The suspect ended up punching and fighting with the teacher, and at one point grabbing the teacher by the neck and started strangling him.

The teacher was able to get the man under control and held him on the ground.

“The victim was still holding the suspect down when the officers got there. And when the officers when to arrest him, he started fighting with the officers as well,” said Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Michael Pessima was arrested. He faces a list of charges, including aggravated assault, obstruction and resisting arrest. He is also charged with theft because he took some cash from the teacher. Police believe it fell out of the teacher’s pocket during the struggle.

Police don’t know why Pessima attacked the teacher. None of the children were hurt. The teacher has minor injuries.

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