ST. JOSEPH — The surveillance video of the Feb. 20 altercation between a Coloma man and a St. Joseph High School senior at the high school shows that the physical part of the confrontation lasted a little over a minute.
The video and a two-page report done by school administrators was obtained from St. Joseph Public Schools through a Freedom of Information Act request.
A copy of the 10-page police report was obtained from the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office through a separate FOIA request.
The preliminary hearing for Chris Glisson, the man accused of attacking 18-year-old Steve Meridy Jr., was adjourned until further notice last week because of restrictions ordered by the Michigan Supreme Court due to COVID-19.
Glisson, 51, is out on bond. The former Boys & Girls Club employee is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a 10-year felony. On March 13, he declined a plea offer of aggravated assault, a one-year misdemeanor.
The 3:03 minute video begins with Glisson and Meridy talking in the high school’s student center, with a woman watching and two other people blurred out. At the 27-second mark, Glisson steps closer to Meridy and appears to put his hands up to the student’s neck. They break free briefly before it appears at the 35-second mark that Glisson puts his hands up to Meridy’s neck and shoves him onto a table.
The two end up standing face-to-face, holding each other’s hands to their sides. The school’s public safety officer arrives at 1:24 mark and they break apart at 1:37 mark.
The rest of the video shows them talking, with Meridy calling someone on his cell phone, before the three walk up the steps.
The police report shows that Meridy and Glisson’s daughter, who also attends St. Joseph High School, had dated and recently broke up. In the report, Meridy said they were talking because Glisson’s daughter wanted him to smooth things over with her dad. He said that when Glisson had his hands around his throat, his circulation was cut off and he couldn’t breath. He said Glisson started squeezing his neck even harder after pinning him to the table.
He told the officer that he thought Glisson’s intent was to kill him.
Once they stood back up, Meridy said in the report that Glisson started praying.
Meridy told police that his back and neck hurt, along with one of his legs, which he had previously injured. He said he had trouble swallowing for two days after the incident.
During the week after the incident, Meridy reported to police that he had three nose bleeds, high blood pressure and a lot of anxiety.
The interview with Glisson was blacked out in the copy of the police report given to The HP.
Much of the two-page report from the school district is also redacted. It quotes Glisson as saying he was trying to control Meridy and not hurt him.
The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. Glisson was the site coordinator for the Boys & Girls Club at the high school. He was fired shortly after the incident.