A music teacher at a Maywood high school was released on bail Saturday morning following his arrest in connection with an altercation with a student.
Authorities detained Marston Riley on suspicion of child abuse soon after the incident at Maywood Academy High School on Friday afternoon. Another student recorded the fight with a cellphone.
Students who spoke with KTLA on Friday said Riley, who taught music, asked the boy involved to leave the classroom because he didn’t have the proper uniform on.
The 14-year-old boy allegedly refused. Video shows the student repeatedly use a racial slur at Riley, who is black.
At some point, the boy hurls a basketball at the instructor, who then pulls out a cellphone to call for assistance.
The teenager continues to insult Riley until the teacher punches him in the face.
Riley delivers several more blows, while the boy manages to hit him once.
The recording shows Riley continuing to act aggressively toward the student as campus personnel try to stop the fight.
The video cuts off with staffers pulling the student away from the room.
Multiple students who did not want to be identified defended the teacher, one of them alleging that the situation had been set up.
“There were students there who were already taking out their phones to record the incident,” the student said. “I don’t think it’s completely fair that they’re just putting the blame all on (Riley), when I personally know that he’s a good guy.”
Another student described Riley as “a really nice teacher.”
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department initially said Riley was 40 years old, but later said he was 64.
According to the agency, the 14-year-old boy was hospitalized for “moderate injuries” and later discharged.
Riley was released from jail just before 8 a.m. on Saturday after posting $50,000 bail, inmate records indicate.
He was scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 30.
The case remained under investigation. Anyone with information can call the Sheriff’s Department at 877-710-5273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who want to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), use the mobile app “P3 Tips” or visit lacrimestoppers.org.