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Heroic football player stops potentially lethal teacher attack

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

By all accounts, the attack looked like it would be lethal.

In the moments after the school bell rang, a 40-year-old teacher brutally attacked a fellow teacher. With screwdriver blows from English teacher Ronette Ricketts raining on the victim, fellow English teacher Cynthia Glozier, a varsity football player thought quick, relied on his athletic instincts and stopped the attack in its tracks.

According to New York TV network WPIX and the Poughkeepsie Journal, among other sources, Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) High senior linebacker Justin Richardson is now being hailed as a hero and a likely lifesaver as a result.

"I saw Ms. Ricketts just hammering her in the side of head," Richardson told PIX 11 TV. "I saw a lot of blood. It was shocking. I just jammed her really hard to get the screwdriver [to] fly out of her hand. If I didn't step in she would have killed her."

Luckily for all involved, Richardson did step in to stop a shocking attack before it became a deadly one. As it is, Ricketts is still facing charges of first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, and is likely to lose a job in which she was previously highly respected.

It remains uncertain what caused the longtime English teacher to snap -- the two teachers were reportedly talking in the hallway moments before the screwdriver attack -- but Ricketts is now facing potentially life-changing charges, all while Glozier faces a long recovery to get back to her life as normal. The Poughkeepsie Journal reported that Glozier was in good condition at Saint Francis Hospital, but her attorney, Tom O'Neill, said she was "extremely traumatized" by the attack.

"It wasn't two teachers arguing, it was one attacking another," Poughkeepsie principal Edgar Glascott told PIX 11.

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