Albuquerque high school counselor charged with battery of a teen

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque high school counselor is facing charges in a battery case involving a teenage girl.

Police say the Albuquerque Public Schools counselor, Jo Ann Carle, is accused of battery against a house member and cruelty for an altercation that took place in 2015 between her husband and 14-year-old step daughter.

Even with the charges, KRQE News 13 has learned that Albuquerque Carle is back on the job, working with teens at Manzano High School near Lomas and Juan Tabo.

KRQE News 13 has obtained the Albuquerque Police lapel camera video and a 911 call that came in to dispatch, detailing what took place. While the video shows that Carle claimed to be the victim in the family scuffle, police didn’t see it that way.

Carle is a member of the Manzano High School counseling department team. According to the high school’s website, Carle also leads the counseling team as the “department chair.”

The incident that Carle is charged in began just before 9 p.m. on November 1, 2015, at Carle’s northwest Albuquerque home. While it started with a cry for help, it ended with APD officers suspecting Carle of a crime.

According to police dispatch records, Albuquerque Police were first dispatched to the home after a chaotic 911 call from Carle’s step-daughter. Before officers arrived, Carle can be heard screaming “help me” in the background of the phone conversation.

Listen to the 911 call, story continues below: 

“My dad’s… my dad’s wife is… saying that I have to leave and she’s like… tearing my dad’s shirt apart,” said the 911 caller.

At multiple points throughout the conversation, the caller fails to answer dispatchers questions, and can be heard crying.

“She was pulling my hair!” exclaimed the 911 caller, speaking of Carle.

Two Albuquerque Police officers arrived at the home around 8:57 p.m. Lapel camera video captured by the responding officers shows Carle running towards the officers, while screaming for help. She had a different story compared to the 911 caller.

“He’s kicking me and beating me up!” said Carle, referring to her husband.

Carle claimed she was the victim, and that her husband and step-daughter were beating her up.

“She pushed me, pushed me up against the wall over here and started kicking me, I have bruises, it hurts, oh my God,” said Carle in police lapel camera recordings.

However, the victims told APD officers that Carle started an argument with her teen step-daughter.

“She doesn’t like the way my daughter treats me,” said the male victim, Carle’s husband.

He told police the verbal argument turned into a scuffle, and that Carle scratched the teen and pulled her hair.

“She was going after my daughter and stayed right there in the kitchen holding her back away from my daughter,” said the male victim.

APD had Carle take a trip in an ambulance to the hospital because she said her leg hurt. Carle claimed she was just trying to get her phone from the girl.

“We were doing this with the phone, back and forth with the phone and so he jumped on top of me and I was trying to get the phone, he jumped on top of me, he grabbed my hair,” said Carle.

However, police didn’t buy it as Carle added details to her story late in the process of giving police her side.

“You didn’t tell me about her pulling your hair,” said the APD officer.

Albuquerque Police ended up filing battery and cruelty to children charges against Carle on November 17, 2016, more than two weeks after the initial incident. According to lapel camera video, officers told Carle that she would not be arrested on the night of the incident because she was being taken to the hospital for evaluation.

APS tells KRQE News 13 that they were notified about the charges against Carle sometime after the incident. It’s unclear exactly when the district was notified, or who reported it. The district says Carle was placed on paid administrative leave for three weeks while they investigated. She returned to her counseling role after the investigation ended.

Today, Carle is back on the job at Manzano High School. APS says she has returned to work with no changes to her role or responsibilities.

Carle was the only person charged in the case. KRQE News 13 reached out to Carle on Wednesday, but her attorney refused to comment on the case.

The counselor is set to appear in court on Tuesday, April 19 where a judge will consider two motions in the case. Prosecutors are trying to get the charges against Carle changed from cruel to children and battery against a household member to simple battery and interference with communications. Another motion filed by Carle’s defense is asking for the case to be dropped.

The charges against Carle comes as APS is changing its background check policy. Come July, any APS employee who’s charged or convicted with a crime will be required to report it to their supervisor.

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