Security guards talk to police about incident involving student at South Valley Academy

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The head of South Valley Academy, Richard Perea, is facing serious consequences after he was accused of holding a box cutter to a student’s neck. It started as a disciplinary meeting with a high school student and before taking a strange turn.

School Security Guard 1: “Mr. Perea says, ‘Let’s start with your pockets, empty out your pockets.’”
School Security Guard 2: “He has a box cutter about this big.”
School Security Guard 1: “So Mr. Perea goes, “Stand up, I’m going to show you what a Chicano man does.”

That was two security guards describing to police what they witnessed in April, inside the office of School Executive Director Richard Perea. It all started the guards said, because Perea wanted to confront a 17-year-old student he suspected of vaping in the bathroom.

School Security Guard 2: “I go get him in the bathroom and I bring him back over to the office.”
School Security Guard 1: “Mr. Pera asked me to stay.”

With the two guards in the bathroom, Perea asked the student to empty his pockets. There’s no sign of a vaping device but the student does pull out a box cutter.

School Security Guard 2: “He sets it down, Mr. Pera looks at it, he goes, ‘Oh no, I gotta confiscate this.’”

The security guards said the student explained that it was part of the service learning he and the other students do after their regular classes but acknowledged he shouldn’t have it.

That’s when the guards said Perea ordered the student to stand up.

Security Guard 1: “He opened the blade, put it in his right hand, and then with this arm he put it around his neck, and then he went like that, with the blade in his hand, and said, ‘That’s how quick I I could cut your jugular and you could bleed out.’”

They said he swiped the blade close to the teen’s neck.

Security Guard 2: “He’s like, ‘See what I could’ve done?’ And you don’t even know I have a knife in my hand.’”
Security Guard 1: ‘If you walked by a Chicano man they could use it as a weapon.’” Something like that.”
Security Guard 2: “He has this whole thing of how he teaches you a story, he’s old school, he teaches you a whole little story of the whole thing.”

It was a costly lesson as it turned out for Pera, who’s now facing criminal charges of aggravated assault and child abuse. He’s out of jail awaiting trial now. South Valley Academy placed him on administrative leave after the allegations came to light.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KRQE NEWS 13 – Breaking News, Albuquerque News, New Mexico News, Weather, and Videos.