Parent charged with choking, accosting student

NORCROSS -- A Norcross man faces felony charges for allegedly accosting and choking a Pinckneyville Middle School student who had tussled with his daughter.

The incident happened about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Ashby Apartments on Hillandale Drive. The alleged victim, a 12-year-old boy, was waiting for the school bus with other students, including the 11-year-old daughter of Yaking McNeil, 33.

The boy and girl reportedly got into a playful fight that turned more serious when the boy fell into a thorn bush. He grabbed the girl's hoodie and she fell to the ground, according to a police report.

The next thing the boy knew, McNeil threw him to the ground, causing his head to smack on the pavement, then choked him, the boy told authorities at school and, later, police.

"At one point (McNeil) told him that he will kill him," the report states.

As the boy was getting up, the school bus arrived, but he neglected to tell the driver. Four students later came forward with written statements Tuesday.

The boy bore a small scratch on his chest and told authorities "his entire head was hurting." His mother told police she was taking him to a hospital for evaluation.

When police interviewed McNeil at home, he said he'd seen his daughter on the ground from his second-floor window, ran outside and asked the boy if he'd hit her, which the boy copped to doing, McNeil told police.

McNeil told police he'd grabbed the boy, tossed him on the pavement and "held him down by his neck," the report states. McNeil weights 235 pounds and stands 6 feet, 1 inches tall, according to the report.

Gwinnett police arrested McNeil at home, charging him with aggravated assault and cruelty to children. He remains at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.