19-Year-Old Attacks Upper Darby Teacher With Hammer

19-Year-Old Attacks Upper Darby Teacher With Hammer

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Darlington James, 19, is seen walking with police. Instigators accuse him of attacking a teacher with a hammer. Darlington James, 19, is seen walking with police. Instigators accuse him of attacking a teacher with a hammer.
Upper Darby -

Police say 19-year-old Darlington James isn't a student, but he walked right into Upper Darby High School Tuesday afternoon, picked out a target for a random robbery and proceeded to attack a teacher with a hammer inside of her own classroom.

"Brazen, brash, criminal, thug. Whatever you want to call him, that's what he is," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

Chitwood said the 32-year-old teacher put up a struggle and started screaming but was overpowered by James and then robbed of her Apple laptop computer.

"Here's a teacher doing her after school work and lucky she didn't get seriously injured or killed," Chitwood added.

James raced out of the school, but was caught by police nearby. The breach of security and violent attack had parents of students at the high school concerned.

"When I hear that, I'm afraid for my son. My son is a freshman here, it's a little alarming," said parent Lisa Henry.

"Extremely concerned because when I come up here to pick up my daughter or to see my daughter, I have to stop at the front desk and show all kinds of ID and get frisked and all kinds of other stuff," said James English, another parent.

"According to him, he got in through a back door, he was told which way to go in," Chitwood explained.

Chitwood says James was also involved in a violent attempted theft of a laptop at the Beverly Hills Middle School nearby just last month.

"We believe he's responsible for another half a dozen thefts of computers from these different schools," Chitwood told reporters at a Wednesday morning news conference.

School officials insist security is their top priority. The teachers union did not return our calls for comment.

James has no prior record. He's charged with aggravated assault, robbery, theft, and burglary.

Police recovered at least one laptop but did not recover the hammer used in the attack. The teacher was not seriously injured.

Some parents were angry that the school did not notify them of the hammer attack before Wednesday.

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