Republican state Rep. Mark Samsel promised a Wellsville High School arts class that it “would be the most uncomfortable class of your life” the day he worked as substitute teacher when he was accused of kicking a student in the crotch.
The police investigation affidavit made public late Monday reveals a disruptive fifth-period arts class in which Samsel is accused a kicking a kid between the legs, although the lawmaker says he didn’t strike the student.
The second-term lawmaker is now facing three charges of misdemeanor battery related to two students who are about 16 years old.
The affidavit depicts what played out in the Wellsville High School arts class based on interviews conducted by police.
The alleged incident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. April 28 when Samsel – who was at wits’ end during the class period – had a run-in with the student after the lawmaker started talking about suicide, God, the devil and the wrath of God during class.
He also talked about masturbation and the politics of the Senate president, two subjects that surfaced in videos of the class but not in the affidavits.
The student told investigators that he put in his earbuds to ignore Samsel’s remarks, saying the class was “scared” and “confused” but didn’t know how to respond.
At one point, the student walked across the room and began talking to a friend when Samsel ordered an end to the conversation.
Several students left the classroom through a door that led outside for several minutes to discuss what was unfolding that day.
When they reentered, the student said Samsel grabbed him by the shoulders with both hands and shoved him into the wall.
The student said he freed himself from Samsel’s grasp and ran to the other side of the room – hurdling a table – and sat down in his seat.
The student told police that Samsel “seemed mad” though he was “playing around.”
The student said he scurried to the other side of the room because “he did not want to be touched” and “he was scared of what just happened and wanted to get away from Mark.”
Ten minutes later when the student left his desk to collect art supplies for his project, Samsel “stepped in front of him, looked angry and as though he was ‘going to do something to me,’” the affidavit said.
At that point, the student said Samsel told him he was going to kick him in the “balls,” a threat he ignored because he didn’t believe that would really happen.
After another 10 minutes, the student said Samsel kicked him in the testicles with his right foot, but the student moved back in an attempt avoid being hit.
The student said Samsel kicked him hard enough to make him bend over in pain. The student said it took about 10 to 15 minutes for the pain to subside.
“The student stated he was confused, in pain and had to catch his breath before returning to his seat,” the affidavit said.
“He stayed in his seat for approximately 10 minutes before he left the class room by his own accord, at approximately 11:50 a.m., and waited for the period to end, at 12:05 p.m., in the hallway,” the affidavit said.
The investigator took pictures of the student’s injuries of what was described in the affidavit as “road rash” about the size of golf ball on the right shoulder blade.
There was also scratch on the student’s left shoulder blade that traveled across the shoulder from the outside and toward the student’s spine.
The affidavit said the scratch was about 3 to 4 inches in length.
Samsel acknowledged that he told the student three times that he was going to kick him in the “balls” or the “nuts” within five to 10 minutes.
Samsel said the kick was more for show and that he didn’t touch the student.
“I did not kick the young man, I did not strike him. I did it just enough to…and I don’t even know if I made contact with you to be honest,” Samsel told police.
Samsel said the student embellished his reaction to the kick, affidavit said.
“If you’ve seen any soccer games recently, where, especially our international friends, take a foul and drop to the floor. He embellished the heck out of it,” Samsel said.
Samsel told police that the student was OK and didn’t need to see the school nurse after the kicking incident.
Samsel said the outburst stemmed from one student who was “high strung” and “kept breaking my one rule” when entering the classroom.
Samsel told police that he threatened to call the principal numerous times about the student’s behavior but didn’t because the phone was across the room.
He said the student ignored multiple instructions to go to the high school office.
Taking a cue from previous coaches he played with, Samsel told two of the misbehaving students to hold hands and walk a lap around the school’s track. They refused.
At another point during the class, Samsel said a student “bumped him.” He told the student to stand back and give him space.
Samsel told police he stated that he verbally asked if the student understood that if he got in his face again he was going to “kick him in the balls,” the affidavit said.
The student said, “Yeah.”
Samsel told investigators that he didn’t grab the student violently.
“I barely grabbed him, firmly, but enough, right by the shoulders,” Samsel told police.
“I would honest to God never do anything to hurt him,” Samsel said.
During the interview with police, Samsel said he was told twice by God to touch the child.
Samsel “stated he knew it was wrong and he shouldn’t do it, he stated he did not want do it. He stated, ‘The whole world is telling me not to do it, God said, Yes.’ Mark believes this was God’s plan,” the affidavit said.
Another student told police that when she arrived in class that day, Samsel was already playing music.
The affidavit said Samsel talked about how rap music was wrong and kids should listen to different types of music.
When the bell rang, the student said Samsel told the class that it’s going to be “the most uncomfortable class of your life,” the affidavit said.
She did’t know what Samsel meant.
She said Samsel grabbed her by the shoulders – without leaving marks or causing an injury – and asked her if she had “mental problems” or was suicidal.
She said Samsel scared her and thought he was going to hurt her.