homepage logo

YSI student faces assault charge

By Staff | Jul 13, 2009

An 18-year-old Elmore Academy YSI student facing a felony assault charge made his first court appearance on Monday.

Phillip Edward Lahi, Jr. has been charged with third-degree assault after allegedly choking another student until he passed out.

Jesse Williams, senior vice president of operations for the Sarasota, Fla.-based Youth Services International Inc., says the June 18 incident is an “isolated and extremely rare occurrence” at the facility.

Williams says the staff receives adequate training to try to prevent situations like this from occurring.

“The Elmore staff is pretty meticulous to assure there is appropriate and sound supervision,” says Williams. “It is a tight and safe environment.”

According to a court complaint, the incident occurred in a dorm room at Unity Hall when the lights were turned off for the night.

During their investigation, a student told authorities that Lahi had the 14-year-old boy come over to his bed and choked him with a ‘sleeper hold’ until he passed out.

The student says he thought the boy may have hit a dresser when he fell down.

The complaint says the 14-year-old does not remember much and woke up when he heard a staff member asking him why he was on the floor.

Lahi told authorities the 14-year-old kept wandering around in the dorm room after the lights went out and was bothering him.

Lahi admitted putting a ‘sleeper hold’ on the boy — a maneuver he learned from his uncle, who is a police officer.

For more of this story, see this week’s Register.