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Harlem High School Student Arrested for Assaulting Teacher


A student at Harlem High School was arrested Tuesday for repeatedly punching a teacher and causing the staff member to bite his tongue, authorities said.

Ryying Lone Fleming, 18, was charged Tuesday with battery on school teacher or other school personnel.

The incident occurred around 2 p.m. Tuesday at the school on 1070 Appling Harlem Highway in Harlem.

“Ryying Fleming did commit battery by punching Matthew Gross multiple times in the head and face,” a warrant says. “Mr. Gross is a teacher for Columbia County Schools and was performing official duties at the time.”

According to a school website, Mr. Gross goes by “Joel Gross” and is listed as an ASD-Life Skills teacher. He began his career after retiring from the military, and he is a football coach, wrestling coach and life coach, the school website says.

Fleming was booked into the Columbia County Detention Center, but he has since been released on bond on the battery charge.

The school district has not released any information on the teacher’s assault.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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