From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
HOOVER –Charges against a Hoover High School physical education teacher who had previously taught at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School, were dismissed by a Hoover judge today.
Appearing before Judge T.B. Bishop on charges that she had manhandled a student. Lori McCombs heard the case against her dismissed, according to Carol Robinson of The Birmingham News.
“The facts in this case as depicted on the surveillance video and in the signed statements of witness do not rise to the commission of a crime. The allegations in the complaint are not supported by Alabama Statutes or case law,” Bishop ruled.
Hoover city attorney Charlie Waldrop opposed dismissing the charges, saying McCombs had other options available in dealing with the student, but defense attorney Jim Ransom was pleased with the decision.
“I am so happy for my client,” Ransom told Robinson. “Judge Bishop was the right judge in this matter. He did the right thing and came to the proper legal conclusion.”
“He cited his own years of experience in the law and in education. He properly considered the statutes and cases cited in our motion, and did the right thing,” Ransom said. “Hoover City Schools had already considered this matter and took no disciplinary action against McCombs. Criminal charges in this matter were ludicrous.”
According to a press release from the Hoover Police Department, McCombs, 45, was arrested for an altercation with a Hoover student that took place on Jan. 27.
McCombs currently works as an adaptive physical education teacher at Hoover High School and also serves as a varsity track coach. She has been at the Hoover school since 2011. Previously, she coached varsity track and taught physical education at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School from 1996 until 2001.
The report went on to say that McCombs grabbed the student by the wrist and pulled her from the locker room into a hallway.The student and a witness said McCombs became upset when the student didn’t get “dressed out” fast enough for her P.E. class, according to the statement.
The altercation left noticeable red marks on the child’s arm. The student notified a parent that afternoon and school officials the following day, the statement read.
Police said the incident was thoroughly investigated and the evidence was referred to the city court magistrate on Thursday. The magistrate then issued the harassment warrant.
Trussville resident and Hoover city school teacher Shane Shelnutt said he had interacted with McCombs several times during his career.
“She’s a great teacher and an even better person,” Shelnutt said. “I think she is one of the most energetic educators I’ve ever been around. Everything about her represents excellence. If you’re around her for any length of time, that will be your impression – excellence.”