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Woman arrested for attack on Pittsburgh teacher

A confrontation that ended with a teacher in the hospital and a mother in handcuffs all started over a phone.

Janice Watkins’ family tells Channel 11 she was threatened by Daishonta Williams at King pre-K-8 on Wednesday in front of other staffers and the school did nothing about it until Williams followed her from the school and allegedly attacked her on the West End Bridge.

"First of all, she shouldn't have had the phone in school and the teacher wouldn't have had to take the phone,” said Diana Ralph, whose grandchild attends King.


Fellow parents and guardians at King called the attack terrible and unacceptable.

"It's unexplainable,” said Jordan Robinson. “I really don't know or can't tell what was going through their heads at the time."

Channel 11 has learned Williams believed Watkins choked her 10-year-old daughter after an altercation over the girl's cellphone during first period.

On Wednesday night, before she turned herself in, Williams told Channel 11’s Mike Holden over the phone that she followed Watkins as she left school and approached her as she sat in her car near the West End Bridge.

“I did get out and I did hit her, but I did not throw a brick through the window as they say I did,” Williams said. “I did not. I punched her in her face.”

On Thursday, Williams was arrested and formally charged with aggravated assault. Channel 11 spoke with her defense attorney, Blaine Jones, late this afternoon.

"The first thing we're going to try and do is get Ms. Williams out of jail," Jones said.

Channel 11 spoke off camera with Watkins' family Thursday. They said Williams verbally threatened Watkins earlier in the day when she was called to the school for a meeting, and that the school didn’t protect Watkins.

They say Williams told her, "I'm going to get you," and later that day, Watkins was attacked.
"For the mother to come and jump on the teacher, attack the teacher, that's wrong," Ralph said.

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