Woman charged with assaulting 9-year-old girl in elementary school

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:58 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A 72-year-old woman is charged with assaulting a nine-year-old girl inside a Richland School District Two (R2) elementary school.

On Wednesday, Roberta Hunter Butler surrendered to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) and was charged with third-degree assault and battery.

Briana Buckner is the victim’s mother who told WIS the alleged attack took place during an after-school program at Lake Carolina Elementary School – Upper Campus.

According to an RCSD report, the incident happened on Feb. 7 when Butler grabbed the 9-year-old by the arm and didn’t let go.

Following the initial confrontation, Buckner said her daughter was grabbed by the collar of her jacket and nearly lifted off the ground when she tried to walk away from Butler.

“She did follow my daughter, even around, after my daughter went and sat behind a desk. She followed her around again and was pointing in her face and was telling her things. My daughter remembers some of it... she was very scared,” said Buckner on her front porch.

RCSD was called to the scene that afternoon and Buckner said she withdrew her daughter from Upper Campus the following day.

It’s believed by investigators that Butler was settling a dispute on behalf of a separate student later identified as her granddaughter.

In county bond court on Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Butler was banned from Upper Campus following the incident 36 days prior.

72-year-old Roberta Hunter Butler charged for assaulting Richland Two student.
72-year-old Roberta Hunter Butler charged for assaulting Richland Two student.(Andrew Fancher)

Before Judge M.R. Metts, Butler said the ban was “disappointing” as she’s responsible for driving her granddaughter to and from school.

Butler’s bond was set at $2,500. The 72-year-old had no prior criminal history.

Buckner’s message to Butler:

“I hope you learn from your actions. I think you deserve to know what the inside of a jailhouse looks like. This incident has caused my child tremendous anxiety. She’s scared to even go to that side of town because she’s scared she’s going to see you or another one of your family members... And I really wish that you would’ve come and spoken to me, but now you’re 72 years old with a criminal record.”

WIS reached out to R2 for a comment on last month’s incident. The district said they can’t issue statements on active and ongoing investigations.

Buckner’s daughter now attends school in a different district.

RELATED COVERAGE: R2 school allows 9-year-old to walk home unsupervised

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