Preston High student arrested for allegedly punching assistant principal

KINGWOOD — An 18-year-old Preston High student was charged with malicious or unlawful battery after he allegedly hit an assistant principal in the jaw.

James Metz, of Tunnelton, was charged Friday. He was freed on $10,000 bond. The charge is a felony.

Preston High Principal Steve Plum said Monday Metz is not in school now and the incident is still under investigation.

According to a criminal complaint by Preston Sheriff’s Sgt. S.R. Mitter:

Metz was being restrained by five to six male staff members when she responded to a call at the school. He was “visibly angry,” breathing hard and had a clinched fist.

Principal Steve Plum told the officer that Metz had, “punched Assistant Principal [David] Murray in the jaw.” Murray was taken to Preston Memorial Hospital by private vehicle, where, at the time charges were filed, the staff believed Murray had a broken jaw.

Plum said Monday that Murray’s jaw was not broken.

“Murray said that Metz had hit him in the chest and jaw,” according to the complaint.

The officer wrote that Metz said, “everything started when he was in the hall with his girlfriend. Metz and his girlfriend were told to go to class,” and Metz was escorted by staff, including Murray, to the front office.

“Once the group entered the concourse, Metz told Murray to leave him alone. Sgt. Mitter asked Metz what Murray was doing. Metz said Murray was running his mouth so he punched Murray.”

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