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Michael Heymann leaves the Saranac Lake village courtroom Thursday after his arraignment. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy <a href="http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com"><em>Adirondack Daily Enterprise</em></a>
Michael Heymann leaves the Saranac Lake village courtroom Thursday after his arraignment. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Saranac Lake teaching assistant arrested for child endangerment

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A Saranac Lake teaching assistant has been accused of mistreating a 10-year-old boy he worked with full-time at Petrova Elementary School.

Michael J. Heymann turned himself in at the village police station Thursday. The 24 year-old was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

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Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

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The criminal case stems from a Dec. 19, 2012 incident at the school, according to Saranac Lake Police Chief Bruce Nason. 

"The way it was reported to us was that a parent contacted the school and indicated that their child had some marks on their neck that was left by possibly a teacher's assistant," he said.

The boy, who has autism, later told police that Heymann had grabbed him, pulled him and forcefully restrained him in a chair.

The incident took place in a "relaxation room" at the school where disruptive students are sometimes taken.

The boy's parents, in statements to police, said they suspected their son was being abused in early October and hid an audio recording device on him. 

Nason said his officers listened to a recording of the Dec. 19 incident but felt there wasn't enough evidence to charge Heymann with anything more serious than endangering the welfare of a child.

"By the time we spoke to the child, there were no marks that were visible, and we have no photos of marks that the child may have received," Nason said.

In a statement to police, Heymann said the only contact he had with the child was placing his hands on the boy's shoulders in an attempt to keep him from harming himself. 

Heymann was released to appear in village court Feb. 25.

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