55-year-old security guard Hector Garcia was heroic as he intervened to save a school counselor at Public School number 69 in the Bronx, New York. Garcia is a 27-year veteran of the force. The Bronx safety agent ended up being slashed in the head while defending the counselor. He says he doesn’t regret his decision. “I call them my children, my kids,” he told NBC New York. “I thank God there was no children and little kids around.” Garcia said. For him it was all about the students and their safety.
The altercation took place at 7:40 AM inside the of school on Theiriot Ave. Garcia suddenly heard a commotion come over his walkie-talkie minutes before the children were due to arrive that Thursday morning. Garcia ran to find where the altercation was taking place and found the counselor struggling against a man in the school. I see the counselor…on the floor, crying,” he said. “Then the teach came by, Mr. Nash, and broke them up from fighting, then he starting fighting with the perp.”
The suspect, Claudio Villar, lashed out as Garcia tried to pull him off of the teacher. “When he aimed, I bent down and he caught me up here instead of here,” he said pointing first behind his ear, then pointing to his neck, believing the attacker intended to go for his throat. “I think he was trying to aim for the main artery.” Garcia bending down is probably what saved his life. However, he still ended up with a deep puncture wound behind his ear on his head.
Villar allegedly knifed the teacher’s arm before escaping outside of the school building. The suspect was arrested near Public School number 69 by police shortly after the attack took place and is now in police custody facing charges related to the attack inside the school. Villar’s relationship to the counselor was later discovered to be that of a former boyfriend with plenty of motive. This latest incident shows a greater need for school security inside of New York schools. Garcia says more needs to be done in order to support security agents inside of New York schools. There have been 41 attacks on school security guards in the year 2022 alone. This is up by 30% from the previous year.
Garcia, who said he spent 10 days in the hospital in 2020 with a serious bout of COVID-19, said he believes “God saved me again.” He said he loves his job but admits that in more than two decades at the school, things appear to be getting worse.
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No children were harmed during the attack. Garcia has thought about retirement since the attack but hasn’t decided if retirement is the correct course of action for him. Garcia just appears to be thankful that he is well after such a vicious attack and is looking to serve his kids a little while longer. Since the attack parents, administrators, and the mayor of the Bronx New York, have all called Hector Garcia a hero for intervening to help save a school counselor.