A Woodside High School teacher attacked near campus last year described in court how dozens of students, parents and bystanders failed to help him as he bled profusely after a teenager punched him in the teeth.
Alan Eaton, a 33-year-old Latin teacher, took the stand Friday in the preliminary hearing of his alleged attacker, 19-year-old Lamarr Timmons of San Mateo.
Timmons is facing felony assault charges with enhancements for gang activity and assaulting a school employee. He has been in San Mateo County jail on $100,000 bail since the Nov. 5 incident.
On Friday, in San Mateo County Superior Court, Eaton described intervening as Timmons tried to bully and intimidate a smaller student close to campus by crowding him and swearing. The intervention angered Timmons, he said, who did not attend the high school but was walking with five Woodside students.
Eaton walked away, but could hear Timmons following and telling his friends he would beat Eaton up. Eaton, who has worked with teenagers for a decade, said he assumed Timmons was blustering.
But when he reached Alameda de las Pulgas and Hull Avenue, Timmons approached him and punched him in the mouth, Eaton said.
Eaton said he had been holding books in one hand and abook bag in the other. His tooth went flying.
“I could either catch my tooth or my books as I was falling,” Eaton said. “I chose my books so they didn’t get blood on them.”
Eaton estimated there were about 40 people present — teens walking home from school, parents driving to pick them up and an ice cream vendor on the corner.
“No one stopped. No one offered assistance.” he said. “No one offered a cell phone.”
His wife, who was meeting him, saw the attack and rushed to help.
Timmons quickly fled, Eaton said. Bleeding, the teacher quickly caught up with Timmons’ friends and asked for the name of the person who assaulted him. The teens refused to tell him and one boy ridiculed him.
“He mocked me because my teeth were broken and I couldn’t enunciate well,” he said.
Eaton said he has since undergone several oral surgeries and has more scheduled to try to save two more teeth that were knocked loose.
He is still teaching at Woodside and said he would intervene again if he had to do it over.
Still, he said it saddens him that dozens of witnesses declined to help. “People were afraid. It was easier for them to quickly make a right and drive home,” Eaton told The Examiner after the court proceeding.
Timmons’ hearing will continue Monday.