POLICE BEAT

Intoxicated MCI student punches teacher, police say

Posted March 02, 2012, at 5:35 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — A senior at Maine Central Institute was intoxicated at the school and punched a teacher in the face on Friday afternoon, police said.

Zackery Valente, 18, of Pittsfield admitted to drinking a beer and consuming whiskey he had mixed with soda in a soda bottle, said Pittsfield police Officer Marty Cochran. Police got the call at 1:31 p.m.

“One of the teachers approached him about it and he got defensive,” said Cochran. “[Valente] approached his vehicle, but he said he wouldn’t drive. The teacher took his keys and that made him upset. They were kind of holding onto him. He did punch the teacher in the face.”

Cochran didn’t release the identity of the teacher, but said the teacher didn’t press charges.

“He calmed down pretty quickly and we brought him in,” said Cochran, adding that Valente blew a .09 on the breathalyzer test for alcohol consumption.

Valente was charged with illegal possession of liquor by a minor through consumption, which is a civil violation with no jail time.

Cochran said he didn’t know if Valente drove while drinking or when he got the alcohol.

“He wouldn’t tell me where he got [the beer] from,” said Cochran. “He seemed like a pretty good kid. He calmed way down when he came [to the police station].”

Valente’s mother took him home, he said.

Cochran said he doesn’t think students drinking alcohol at MCI is a trend.

“As far as alcohol-related incidents at the school, it’s pretty rare,” he said.

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