2 On Your Side has learned the new principal of Bennett High School in Buffalo was arrested in August for an alleged domestic incident with his wife. The principal was in Grand Island Town Court on Wednesday night. He would not comment but his attorney says he is completely innocent.
Erie County Sheriff's say they arrested 38-year-old David Mauricio at his home on Grand Island in early August. In a release to 2 On Your Side, Erie County Sheriff's deputies say Mauricio's wife walked in to the Erie County Sheriff's Sub Station on Grand Island to file a complaint on August 4th, 2009.
In that complaint, the wife claimed that she and her husband were arguing when a physical confrontation took place between the two and David struck her, held her down, and then tore her clothes off with a knife that caused a small cut on her finger. Mrs. Mauricio also claimed she suffered neck pain from the incident.
Deputies responded to the home later in the morning, found Mr. Mauricio, arrested him and charged him with assault, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and unlawful imprisonment.
Mauricio was taken to the Erie County Holding Center and then arraigned in the Town of Grand Island Court. His case was held over for September 30th.
Attorney Julie Atti Rogers says the allegations against Mauricio are unfounded and that will come to light. When asked about the potential effect of the charges on the school community Atti Rogers responded "Not at all...my client is not a violent man. He is not a threat to anyone, let alone to his students. He is an excellent, excellent educator and there should be no concern on behalf of the parents, the school board, or the students."
2 On Your Side reached Buffalo School Board President Ralph Hernandez who confirmed Mauricio's case was discussed in executive session at the Wednesday night school board meeting. He said it is a personnel issue and that Mauricio remains as the principal at Bennett. Hernandez added there may be a statement in the next day or so from Superintendent Williams about Mauricio's status. Hernandez says they will also look into his residency status. Buffalo school principals are required to be city residents but the deputies identified Mauricio as a Grand Island man and the couple's home was said to be on Garden Parkway.
2 On Your Side also left messages for Crystal Barton, principal of McKinley High School and president of the Buffalo Council of Supervisors and Adminstrators, the local principals' union. Our call was not returned.
A secretary at Bennett High School told Channel 2 that Mr. Mauricio was at school on Wednesday. We left messages for him there but our calls were not returned.