Haverford School boss placed on leave
Police: Headmaster has been charged with misdemeanor attempted assault
The headmaster of the Haverford School has been placed on leave following his arrest this week.
The headmaster of the prestigious Haverford School has been placed on leave following his arrest this week on a misdemeanor attempted assault charge stemming from an alleged altercation with his son, police said.
John Nagl, 50, of Haverford, was charged Monday. Following an arraignment Monday, Nagl was released on $30,000 unsecured bail.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Haverford police, officers were called to the home at about 7:05 a.m. Monday on the report of a domestic disturbance that occurred in the 500 block of Panmure Road in Haverford.
In the complaint, Nagl told arriving officers that on Oct. 8 he reportedly found marijuana in his son’s backpack so he took it, along with his son’s cellphone. He also told his son that marijuana was not permitted. On Monday, Nagl heard his son speaking on the phone so he went to get it from him. When his son refused, an altercation between the two reportedly ensued, according to police.
“Nagl admitted he put his son in a chokehold to end the altercation quickly,” according to the complaint.
Police said the son had visible red marks on his chest below the neckline.
In a letter that was addressed to members of the Haverford School community, William Yoh, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said Nagl has been placed on administrative leave and Assistant Headmaster Mark Thorburn has been put in place as acting headmaster at the school.
“The well-being of our boys and our guiding principles of community remain paramount,” Yoh said in his letter. “Dr. Nagl is fully cooperating with the school as we all navigate this difficult
A statement from school reads in part: “The Haverford School realizes the serious concerns this charge raises in our community and has dedicated resources toward assessing the situation in its entirety, both fairly and deliberately.”
Nagl’s attorney, Robert Keller, described him as a great person who has defended the nation.
“Dr. Nagl is a wonderful person who has represented our country with two tours of duty protecting us. Additionally, he is a West Point grad, he’s a Rhodes Scholar, has done wonderful work at the Haverford School and he maintains his innocence and we will be very aggressively defending him,” Keller said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
Keller described Nagl’s status with the school as paid administrative leave. He said they have been in contact with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office “and we’re hoping to have these charges dismissed at the earliest possible moment,” once all of the facts come out, he said. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17 in front of Magisterial District Judge Elisa C. Lacianca in Havertown.
Nagl became the ninth headmaster of the Haverford School in 2013. According to his biography on the school’s website, Nagl was a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Class of 1988. He was a veteran who served in both the First Gulf War and in Iraqi Freedom during his Army career.