DA withdraws assault charges on headmaster
The assault charges that were filed against The Haverford School headmaster have been withdrawn.
The assault charges that were filed 10 days ago against the headmaster of The Haverford School have been withdrawn, according to a statement from the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office.
“In reviewing the case in its entirety, including affidavits, witness statements, additional evidence and personal interviews, although there was probable cause for police to effectuate this arrest, we believe there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution of this case. Therefore we are withdrawing the charge (simple assault M3) filed Oct. 10, 2016 and closing the file,” the statement sign by District Attorney Jack Whelan read.
Nagl, 50, of Haverford, was suspended from his role as headmaster of the school after he was charged by Haverford police in connection with an alleged assault of his son during an altercation.
According to school officials, the board will consider Nagl’s status with the school at its next meeting.
According to a statement issued Wednesday morning from William C. Yoh, board chairman of The Haverford School, “The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet early next week to fairly and deliberately assess the situation in light of this new development. We appreciate our community’s continued focus on the wellbeing of our boys and our shared responsibility of preparing boys for life.”
According to the criminal complaint filed by Haverford police Oct. 10, officers were called to the home on that date at 7:05 a.m. 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 Oct. 10, he heard his son speaking on the phone so he went to get it from him. When his son refused, an altercation between the two began. According to the criminal complaint, the son called 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. Following the charges, Nagl was released on $30,000 unsecured bail.
Nagl and his attorney met with prosecutors Wednesday.
“We’re obviously quite pleased that the District Attorney’s Office acted promptly and professionally and reached the same conclusion that we have namely that our client did not commit a crime and was acting in the best interest of his child,” Robert Keller, Nagl’s attorney, said in a phone interview Thursday morning.
Although the board will still have to take up the issue of Nagl’s status at the school, he is hopeful Nagl would be able to return to the school.
“It’s our client’s hope that he can return to the school as soon as possible and resume his position as headmaster and to continue the good work that this school does in shaping the lives of young men,” Keller said.
After Nagl was charged with the assault, the school sent out a letter addressing the issue and informing The Haverford School community that Nagl was being placed on administrative leave.
“The well-being of our boys and our guiding principles of community remain paramount. Dr. Nagl is fully cooperating with the school as we all navigate this difficult situation,” the letter read in part.
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.
“It’s been very stressful and upsetting for our client as he’s attempting to deal with the very personal family issues and at the same time being away from the school that he loves,” Keller said.