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A 48-year-old Bronx charter school teacher was arrested Friday for attacking a 16-year-old student who stiffed him during a drug buy, officials said.
Kevin Pope, a science teacher at the John V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy in Hunts Point, was arrested at 10 a.m. for beating the teen so badly doctors needed staples to close several deep wounds on the back of the victim’s head, police sources said.
Pope then stormed off with the teen’s gold chain, iPhone and wallet — apparent compensation for the money he lost in a botched marijuana buy involving the teen, cops said.
The alleged attack took place on Seneca Ave. near Hunts Point Ave. on Wednesday — about two blocks from the school.
Students at the charter school were stunned that the teacher — described as a “cool guy” — had been arrested.
“(He was) a straight up teacher,” said one student, who wished not to give his name. “He’d make you understand the lessons. I never knew him to be shady.”
Students said Pope was fairly new to the academy, a privately run, publicly funded charter school for older students who have dropped out of traditional schools or who have criminal histories.
A spokesman for the school had no comment on Pope’s arrest when reached by phone Friday.
The teen told Pope he had a drug connection in Manhattan in June.
The pair went to see the dealer and Pope ponied up $4,000 for about a pound of weed, possibly in the hopes of reselling some of it, police sources said.
But after the dealer asked for $7,000, the teen backed out of the deal and walked off with Pope’s money, cops said.
On Wednesday, the troubled teacher approached the teen, demanding his money back.
When the student didn’t fork over the cash, Pope attacked him and ran off with his property, cops said.
“You better get me my money or I will kill you!” the teacher said after the beating, sources say.
Pope was charged with assault and robbery. Dressed in a white dress shirt and light blue sports jacket, the Harlem resident was surprised to see reporters outside the 41st Precinct stationhouse as he was escorted to central booking.
“Really?” he asked before bowing his head, refusing to answer questions. Pope’s arraignment was pending Friday night.
“When I heard this, my brain rattled,” said one of Pope’s neighbors, who refused to give his name. “He’s a good-natured person. I can’t believe it.”
Other neighbors described Pope as a friendly soul who went out of his way to help building residents.
“He’s so nice,” said Shanti Smith, 16. “I see him every morning. He fixed my computer a couple of times when it had a virus.”