California elementary school teacher accused of choking children with jump rope

FRESNO, Calif. -- A Herndon Barstow Elementary P.E. teacher was arrested after being accused of disciplining children by choking them with a jump rope.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office said they arrested 64-year-old Peter Samhammer of Clovis on four felony counts of child abuse.

Detectives said on Thursday afternoon Samhammer disciplined several children by placing a jump rope around their necks and tightening briefly before letting go. They said the rope left red marks on the children's neck and shoulder areas.

All of the victims are between nine and 11 years old.

The Central Unified School District released the following statement:

"Mr. Samhammer is on official administrative leave. Student safety is a top priority for the district and as such, we are fully cooperating with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office and will continue to do so throughout the course of its investigation."

Samhammer has also worked as a seasonal employee with the Clovis Unified School District but was currently not an active employee.

Anyone with additional information was asked to contact the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
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