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Special ed student had troubled history: source

A Queens boy who was allegedly assaulted by a teacher in Bayside last month has a history of violent behavior and emotional problems, sources familiar with the case said.

The special education student, 10, whose name was not released, has been constantly monitored by paraprofessionals while at school and on the school bus, one source said, because of violent outbursts.

The Jan. 25 incident occurred at PS 224, a special education school with sites in several different public schools. The suspected assault happened at PS 224’s location in PS 205, a District 26 school at 72-25 Bell Blvd., according to police.

Police said teacher Thomas Campolettano, 42, of 20 Gardiners Ave. in Hicksville, L.I. allegedly grabbed the boy around the neck and began choking him before pushing the victim against a table.

Campolettano was charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child, police said. The Long Island man could not be reached for comment as of press time Tuesday.

At the time of the incident the child was taken to Queens Hospital Center in stable condition, police said. The victim’s family also could not be reached for comment as of press time Tuesday.

Sources said this week that the child has had disciplinary problems for at least two years and is emotionally disturbed.

“On the day this incident occurred,” one source said, “two other staffers had to restrain this child.”

The source also said the 140-pound child has injured a number of staffers at the school.

A spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office said Campolettano was given a desk appearance ticket and told to appear in court March 6.

Published reports said the gym teacher turned himself in to the 111th Police Precinct in Bayside after the alleged incident.

The city Board of Education said last week Campolettano has been a teacher at PS 205 since 1991 and was reassigned to administrative duties pending an investigation into the assault charge. Board of Ed spokesman Kevin Ortiz said it was unclear whether or not Campolettano worked with the special education students on a regular basis.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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