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Union County Teacher Arrested on Assault Charge

Daniel Prince

Victim was a recent graduate from the high school

A Union County teacher was arrested and charged with 3rd-degree assault and battery. According to the report by the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Michael Merriett responded to an address on Mamie Gault Road in Jonesville on Saturday, June 18, for a disturbance. Upon arriving, Merriett observed several individuals who had been involved in having a party running around. The victim, an 18-year-old male, stated he had been struck in the face by a man identified as 54-year-old Dennis Cooper. The victim stated he was attacked for no reason. He said Cooper and another unknown individual were attempting to disperse everyone and stop the party. The victim, who was a recent graduate of Union County High School, said he knew Cooper from his time at the high school.

Merriett spoke with others who corroborated the victim’s statements. Three subjects wrote sworn written statements. Merriett said he did not see any marks on Smith, but a digital photo was obtained and added to the report. The victim said he wished to press charges.

Merriett spoke with the neighbor, who stated that he and Cooper did go over to the property to try and shut down the party. The neighbor stated that the victim was verbally aggressive and bumped into Cooper, which started the physical altercation. The neighbor confirmed that Cooper did strike the victim. A sworn written statement was not obtained from the neighbor because he appeared to be intoxicated.

The case was forwarded to investigations, and a warrant was signed last Friday charging Cooper with 3rd-degree assault and battery, a misdemeanor charge. Cooper was booked at the Union County Detention Center and released on bond.

Cooper was the former head football coach of Lockhart High School prior to consolidation. He later served for a time as an assistant principal at Union County High School. He is currently listed as a math teacher at the high school.

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