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Pawtucket teacher accused of assaulting student over cookie

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Richard Koster Richard Koster

A teacher at Samuel Slater Junior High School in Pawtucket was charged Thursday with assaulting a seventh-grade student, apparently over a cookie.

Richard Koster, 49, of Cranston, was arraigned in District Court on a count of simple assault and released on personal recognizance.

Pawtucket police said Koster is accused of grabbing a student, lifting him off the floor and pinning him against a wall while yelling at him in a classroom on March 18. According to a police report, Koster was upset the student brought a cookie into his classroom against school rules.

"Another student actually handed him a piece of a cookie and he shoved it in his mouth. The teacher told him he was not supposed to be eating in class. And as he left the classroom, another child thought it was funny to tell the teacher, 'Hey, that student just made a funny face at you,'" the child's aunt told NBC 10 News. She did not want her named used.

Koster surrendered at the Pawtucket Police Department Thursday. There was no answer at his home.

The Pawtucket superintendent said Koster is on administrative leave. The student has returned to school.

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