More investigation is needed into the cases of two San Luis Obispo County educators accused of assaulting students before a decision on whether charges will be filed can be made, officials say.
Russ Griffith, director of student life at Mission Prep, a private Catholic high school in downtown San Luis Obispo, is accused of placing a student in a chokehold. Chris Ferree, an Atascadero High School health teacher and coach, is accused of grabbing a student, forcing him to the ground and “thumping” his chest.
Both alleged assaults occurred in November.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department sent its Griffith investigation to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office without a charge recommendation; the Atascadero Police Department recommended a misdemeanor battery charge for Ferree.
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Lee Cunningham, deputy district attorney, said the Griffith case has been referred back to the San Luis Obispo Police Department for further investigation.
“I can’t really comment on the nature of the investigation,” he said.
Cunningham said he is recused from considering the case against Ferree. District Attorney Dan Dow said he could not comment on the case.
“We have things pending, and there’s been no final review,” Dow said. “We’ve got some things we’re waiting on.”
Griffith did not respond to The Tribune’s request for comment by deadline.
Patrick Fisher, attorney for Ferree, said he has been in communication with the District Attorney’s Office but that he also is waiting on word on whether a charge will be filed.